With some of the groups backing Democrats and some supporting Republicans, they are picking a few Congressional races in which advertising is cheaper or the airwaves less cluttered and transforming them with a barrage of outside money, swamping incumbents and challengers alike.
In Utah and Georgia, a group known as Center Forward, headed by a retired Democratic lawmaker turned Beltway lobbyist, has spent $1 million attacking two Republican candidates. In Florida, the Treasure Coast Jobs Coalition has spent nearly $1 million against Patrick Murphy, a Democratic candidate, and supporting Representative Allen B. West, the Republican incumbent.
Now or Never PAC, a Missouri-based group, has spent more than $900,000 to aid a Republican incumbent in neighboring Illinois, Representative Joe Walsh, a Chicago-area lawmaker who had been outspent by his Democratic challenger until the group entered the race.TVNewsCheck finds that super PACs have a rate problem on TV:
Super PACs and other third-party political advertisers have been spending heavily on TV advertising in the run up to the Nov. 6 election and they are paying as much as four times as much as the candidates for comparable ad time, according to a TVNewsCheck spot check of stations' online political ad files in three markets in the swing states of Ohio, Florida and Nevada.
The disparity is not surprising. Federal law mandates that stations sell time to candidates at the lowest unit rate — that is, at the rate stations charged their most favored commercial advertisers. Since super PACs and other groups not directly affiliated with a candidate don't qualify for the federal discount, stations are free to charge them whatever the market will bear and they do.