Rise of the Local Super PAC

CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 06: U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) speaks during the final day of the Democratic National Convention at Time Warner Cable Arena on September 6, 2012 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The DNC, which concludes today, nominated U.S. President Barack Obama as the Democratic presidential candidate.
National Journal
Scott Bland
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
Scott Bland
Jan. 17, 2014, 6:45 a.m.

Big play­ers dom­in­ate the out­side spend­ing game. Cross­roads (R) might be the single group most syn­onym­ous with out­side spend­ing, while Amer­ic­ans for Prosper­ity (R) is out-ad­vert­ising just about every­one else com­bined right now. But the flow of money is also dif­fus­ing in­to smal­ler groups that just fo­cus on one race or can­did­ate, and there’s a bunch worth track­ing this year.

— There are four top Sen­ate races where at least one can­did­ate has a per­son­al su­per PAC. There are three in Alaska, two in North Car­o­lina (one just formed to help Sen. Kay Hagan (D) with­stand a de­luge of out­side money there), one in Louisi­ana, and a big pro-Mc­Con­nell group in Ken­tucky. Ken­tucki­ans for Strong Lead­er­ship has already spent $1.1 mil­lion ham­mer­ing Al­is­on Lun­der­gan Grimes (D) and ex­pects to be the main source of GOP out­side money in the Bluegrass State.

— A few have already popped up in the House, too. One chal­lenger to co­caine-bus­ted Rep. Trey Radel (R-FL) already has a mil­lion-dol­lar su­per PAC back­ing him up, and former GOP Rep. Richard Pombo is head­ing up a Cali­for­nia Cent­ral Val­ley-fo­cused group back­ing Reps. Jeff Den­ham (R) and Dav­id Valadao (R).

— With hun­dreds of thou­sands avail­able in­stantly with one stroke of a pen, we can ex­pect many more of these groups to form in the up­com­ing months. Es­pe­cially in primar­ies and at the House level, where a dol­lar (or, say, a few hun­dred thou­sand) goes a longer way, the trend will con­tin­ue to have im­port­ant con­sequences.

The big play­ers will re­main im­port­ant, but loc­al ef­forts are set to play lar­ger roles across the coun­try in 2014.

What We're Following See More »
Michael Flynn Remains A Russian-Sized Problem
52 minutes ago

The Michael Flynn story is not going away for the White House as it tries to refocus its attention. The White House has denied requests from the House Oversight Committee for information and documents regarding payments that the former nationals security adviser received from Russian state television station RT and Russian firms. House Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz and ranking members Elijah Cummings also said that Flynn failed to report these payments on his security clearance application. White House legislative director Marc Short argued that the documents request are either not in the possession of the White House or contain sensitive information he believes are not applicable to the committee's stated investigation.

Sally Yates to Testify on May 8
1 hours ago
U.S. To Conduct Exercises In Estonia
2 hours ago

The U.S. deployed "F-35 joint strike fighters" to Estonia on Tuesday. The "jets will stay in Estonia for several weeks and will be a part of training flights with U.S. and other NATO air forces." The move comes at a time of high tension between the U.S. and Estonia's neighbor, Russia. The two nations have been at odds over a number of issues recently, most of all being Vladimir Putin's support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in light of Assad's chemical weapons attack on his own people in the midst of a civil war.

Senate OKs Perdue as Agriculture Secretary
4 hours ago

It took long enough, but the Trump administration finally includes an Agriculture secretary. "The Senate easily approved Sonny Perdue on Monday" by a count of 87-11. Perdue enjoyed the support of Democrats like Delaware's Chris Coons and Wisconsin's Tammy Baldwin, both of whom spoke in his favor.

State Department Highlights Mar-a-Lago in Advertisement
4 hours ago

"A media arm of the State Department is using federal resources to promote President Donald Trump’s private Florida golf club, fueling scrutiny of the nexus between the president’s official duties and his personal financial interests." On April 4, "Share America, the State Department’s social media-friendly news website, paid homage to Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club ... hailing the president’s use of 'the winter White House, as Share America dubbed it, to host world leaders."


Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.