Who’s spending for what: The latest in Alaska’s super-PAC world

Below is the most recent spend in the big spending world of super-PACs that are trying to influence Alaska’s U.S. Senate race. Below that is a partial list of independent groups registered to influence Alaska’s upcoming election.

So far, independent groups have reported to have spent more than $2.6 million on the federal race, and the oil industry and their allies have spent more than $8 million against the state-wide oil-tax repeal effort. (All that oil money doesn’t appear to be moving the needle so far, according to pollsters I’ve talked to. However, much of the money is for media that hasn’t been played yet.)

Most of the independent expenditure money is and will continue to go into television ads, which are charging as much as 10 times or more of what they charged in the 2012 election cycle. Remember, stations have to charge candidates the lowest fee they offer any commercial client for airtime, but federal law does not regulate how much stations can charge independent groups.

The cost of air time is rising by the week. American Crossroads’ pro-Sullivan for Senate ad featuring former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had a placement cost of $180,000 in late March. According to one source, that same ad buy three weeks later would have cost more than $300,000. You’ll likely not hear about this deluge of money to the television stations even as reporters diligently, and with a fair amount of concern, report on how much money is going into influencing elections.

Here is what’s been reported in the Senate race in the last few days:

  • The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, against the strong wishes of Anchorage Chamber President Andrew Halcro, reported spending $162,500 on its latest commercial supporting Senate candidate Dan Sullivan and attacking U.S. Sen. Mark Begich.
  • The American Hospital Association spent $183,815 on a pro-Begich ad, which hasn’t made much of a splash. I haven’t seen it or don’t know anybody who’s seen it.
  • The pro-Begich Put Alaska First super-PAC spent a whopping $346,000 on May 2, which puts their total spend at more than $1.5 million so far.

Here’s a partial list of the groups that have either already spent money or are planning to spend money to impact the elections in Alaska.

    • ABC Alaska PAC (anti-Begich)
    • Alaska Conservation Voters (pro-Begich)
    • Alaska Prosperity Project (unknown)
    • Alaska Right to Life – Victory Project (unknown – support Miller)
    • Alaska’s Energy – America’s Values (pro-Sullivan)
    • American Chemistry Council (pro–Begich)
    • American Crossroads (pro-Sullivan/anti-Begich)
    • American Energy Alliance (anti-Begich) Americans for Prosperity (anti-Begich)
    • Big Marijuana – Big Mistake (anti-marijuana)
    • Bristol Bay Forever (pro- ballot measure #4)
    • Bristol Bay Native Corporation (pro-ballot measure #4)
    • Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Council (pro-ballot measure #4)
    • Club for Growth (pro-Sullivan/anti-Begich)
    • Crossroads GPS (pro-Sullivan/anti-Begich)
    • Fairbanks Interior Workers (potential pro- Begich)
    • Freedom Partners (anti-Begich)
    • Freedom Frontiers (pro-Treadwell)
    • It’s Our Oil, Duh (pro-ballot measure #1)
    • Judicial Crisis Network (anti-Begich)
    • Make Alaska Competitive Committee (anti-ballot measure #1)
    • Mallott One-Alaska PAC (pro-Mallott)
    • National Association of Realtors (pro-Begich)
    • No On One (anti – ballot measure #1/ AOGA)
    • Put Alaska First PAC (pro-Begich)
    • Putting Alaska First Committee (AFL-CIO/pro-Begich)
    • Tea Party Patriots (pro-Miller)
    • U.S. Chamber of Commerce (pro-Sullivan/anti-Begich)
    • Vote Vets Action Fund (pro-Ballot Measure #4)
    • Walker for Alaska’s Future (pro-Walker)
    • We Are Alaska (anti-ballot measure #1/ The Alliance)
    • Yes On One (pro-ballot measure #1)
    • National Democrats (DGA, DSCC, et al)
    • National Republicans (RGA, RSCC, et al)
    • Alaska Republican Victory Fund
    • Alaska Democratic Victory Fund

Contact Amanda Coyne at amandamcoyne@yahoo.com


7 thoughts on “Who’s spending for what: The latest in Alaska’s super-PAC world

  1. roberta

    Whoa. This list of organizations flooding the airwaves will make it almost impossible to sort fact from fiction. Also, it’ll be virtually impossible for local candidates with limited resources to cut thru the clutter of tje noise and sounds of poliitical ads. Wouldn’t be surprised to see direct mail and door-to-door be more of a factor this election cycle.

  2. Mae

    Well it is obvious the most perverse ads come from the outside groups.
    Guess that will be the norm.
    Perverse campaign ads = outside PAC money.

  3. Blue Dog Democrat

    The difference, to large degree, between the SuperPACs and independent expenditure committees that support Democrats are from multiple givers as opposed to the likes of the Koch brothers, Sheldon Adelson and the other Republican groups. Take the labor PACs for instance – – these PACs are all small contributions from working me and women. This is why Begich will win.

  4. PayDirt

    In many respects, the candidates’ campaigns are dwarfed by the expenditure of independent expenditure committees. Lynn Willis makes a valid point that these independent committees actually diminish the role of the individual constituent, us the voters. But with our vote comes power, assuming we use it, and allows us to pick the best candidate regardless of the amount of funds that super pacs throw around. Excercise your right to vote!

  5. Lynn Willis

    I have been told by legislators that they feel they actually represent all the people of the state. That is usually a cop out to hide another agenda paid for by the groups and people on that list.
    I argued that no they don’t. If they want to represent all the people than run for Governor otherwise represent me and my neighbors. Why bother with a bicameral legislature and Governor? The caucus system has pretty well destroyed that concept already.
    I appreciate that those who benefit from the status quo like what they have created and will defend it. I am concerned for future generations of Alaskans and what we are leaving them (damn little). If we don’t address this problem of the open practice of the world’s oldest profession then this whole rotten structure of these grifters and those who fund them is going to break down and none of us are going to like what happens then.

  6. admin

    Lynn: that rule already applies to lobbyists and I’d venture to say that it’s unconstitutional, but nobody has the guts to challenge it. You could argue rightly that nearly all, or all, of the votes cast by legislators have an impact on the whole state.

  7. Lynn Willis

    No wonder so few any longer bother to vote or participate in the process. Way down on that list of the politically influential (and I mean way down) is the individual constituent.
    Our legislators seem to be so keen on constitutional amendments. How about one that mandates candidates for public office would only be allowed to receive funds or any form of purchased campaign assistance from registered voters who reside within the lawfully recognized political subdivision that candidate will represent. For example for state offices I would only be allowed to contribute or otherwise purchase campaign assistance for House Representative candidates for State House District 26, Senate candidates for State Senate District M and for all candidates for Lt. Governor and Governor.
    I am not proposing that an individual from outside my house and senate districts or outside Alaska could not make a personal speech in support of a candidate running in my districts or state. What I am saying is that they could not pay for speech by others to influence those elections. . If they have something to say, they can say it themselves in a forum open to all speakers. .

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