Over the past few weeks, voters in early primary and caucus states have been deluged by political advertising. Some of the ads are pure hagiography, while others are slashing. Disclaimers tell viewers which candidate or group with a soothing name is responsible in each case. But even as they choose from among the Republican presidential candidates, voters haven’t been able to find out who is really behind the spots – who has been putting up the big money it takes to make and air these messages.
The last time the presidential candidates filed campaign-finance disclosure forms with the Federal Election Commission was in mid-October; those covered the third quarter of 2011, which ended in September. At that point, Herman Cain was still in the race, Newt Gingrich was just beginning to surge and Rick Santorum was barely a footnote. And while Mitt Romney had nearly $15 million in his campaign account to play with, Gingrich had just $353,400 in the bank — maybe enough for a few weeks of advertising in Iowa.
But the money the candidates raise themselves is only part of the story, and it may not be the most significant part, even with the possibility that the nominees of both parties will forgo public financing for the general election, as President Obama did last time. Every major presidential candidate is being aided by a group now known as a “super PAC” and sometimes by more than one.
Full Article: Where Did They Get the Money For That? – NYTimes.com.