National Party Committees Step Up Their Independent Spending

House party committees spent more than $16 million last week.

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6. National Republican Senatorial Committee ($2,160,652) 

The GOP's Senate committee last week took a targeted strategy in its spending, focusing all of its $2.2 million in independent expenditures on Senate races in four states: Washington, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Colorado. The most expensive target was West Virginia Democratic Gov. Joe Manchin. The committee spent $800,000 opposing Manchin in his Senate race against Republican businessman John Raese. The committee also spent $691,000 opposing Colorado Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet, who is in a tight race with Republican Ken Buck.

7. American Crossroads ($1,427,012) 

Though Crossroads has been at the forefront of the news about campaign spending this year, the group spent over $900,000 less last week than it had the previous week. American Crossroads focused most of its energies on targeting Colorado Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet, spending nearly $800,000--over half of its independent expenditures last week--on mailings and TV advertisements opposing him. The group also announced this week that it would coordinate with two other conservative groups, the American Action Network and the Committee on Hope, Growth, and Opportunity, on a $50 million ad campaign against House Democrats.

  

8. National Association of Realtors PAC ($1,217,464) 

While the National Association of Realtors PAC had in previous weeks favored Republican candidates in its spending, last week the balance shifted more to the left. The PAC last week spent in support of seven Democrats and six Republicans, with the top three beneficiaries all Democratic House members. The PAC spent nearly $380,000 supporting Pennsylvania's Paul Kanjorski, $370,000 on Rep. Bill Foster of Illinois, and $334,000 on John Adler of New Jersey. While the PAC may not decisively favor one party or the other in its cumulative spending, it does appear to favor incumbents--all of the 11 House candidates and two Senate candidates whom the PAC supported last week are sitting members of Congress.

  

9. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees ($750,000)

AFSCME is among last week's top 10 spenders as a result of one ad for one candidate. The union spent $750,000 on a 30-second TV advertisement opposing Republican Reid Ribble, who is running in Wisconsin's Eighth Congressional District against incumbent Democratic Rep. Steve Kagen. The ad features senior citizens saying that Ribble is "wrong for Wisconsin" due to a statement he made in 2009, saying that Social Security needs to be "phased out."

10. Club for Growth Action ($668,232) 

Club for Growth Action spent much of its $668,000 in independent expenditures last week on two battleground Senate races. The fiscally conservative club spent $346,000 in Pennsylvania, where it used mail, e-mail, and TV ad campaigns to promote Republican Pat Toomey (a former head of the Club for Growth, with which Club for Growth Action is associated) and oppose Democratic Rep. Joe Sestak. Club for Growth Action also dropped $287,000 on mailings and TV ad campaigns in Colorado, where it supported Republican Buck and opposed Democrat Bennet.

Data covers the latest available electronically filed reports of expenditures made from October 3 through 9. As the Democratic and Republican senatorial committees may file their expenditure reports on paper, rather than electronically, the data on their expenditures may be incomplete.

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