By Robert Schlesinger, Thomas Jefferson Street blog
The National Rifle Association became the latest group to enter the Massachusetts senate race this week, spending a bit under $20,000 to mail four-color postcards to Bay State voters, according to a filing with the Federal Election Commission. The mailing is, not surprisingly, on behalf of Republican Scott Brown. In the last few days the race to replace the late Sen. Ted Kennedy has become a magnet for political dollars from national groups who see the contest as being about the filibuster-breaking 60th Democratic senate vote and the fate of healthcare reform. Indeed, the NRA's $20,000 foray is fairly low-key compared to other sums that have been spent, mostly on television ads. According to the Washington Post's Chris Cillizza, the heavy hitters include the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee with almost $1 million, the Service Employees International Union with $529,000, and a labor-backed 527 called Citizens for Strength and Security plunking down $278,000 all supporting Coakley. Brown's allies include the Chamber of Commerce, with $443,000, the American Future Fund with $375,000 and Americans for Responsible Health Care with $204,000. Cillizza reports that overall Coakley's allies are outspending Brown's by 2-1. Add the NRA's drop into Brown's bucket.
Interestingly, the National Republican Senatorial Campaign still doesn't seem to have sunk any cash into the race.