Super PACs Are Driving Presidential Races

Wednesday, 21 Dec 2011 04:25 AM

By Greg McDonald

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A pro-Mitt Romney super political action committee (PAC) is leading the way in spending on attack ads in the early presidential primary states, even though Romney has called the creation of the unregulated political action committees “a disaster.”
According to the Boston Globe, a pro-Romney PAC called Restore our Future, has spent more than $2.4 million on efforts independent of Romney’s campaign organization, much of it in Iowa aimed at damaging former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s bid for the Republican nomination.

That’s nearly a third of the $7 million spent so far by super PACs on commercials supportive of various GOP presidential candidates.

The Globe reported that Restore Our Future plans to spend at least $3.1 million in Iowa, which holds the first voting of the primary season on Jan. 3.

In addition, the Globe said the PAC, which was founded by former Romney aides, is also expanding its efforts into Florida to help the former Massachusetts governor. The Globe said the PAC plans to buy more than $287,000 worth of ads to run some time around Jan. 31 when the Sunshine State holds its primary.

Gingrich, who is now running neck and neck with Romney in some states, has been hit in the last week by a ton of negative television and radio ads, as well as mail flyers, much of it financed by Restore Our Future.

The former House speaker has called on Romney to stop the attacks, but Romney has disavowed any connection between his campaign and the super PAC, despite the fact that it is run by his former aides.
On Tuesday, however, Romney did call for a change in campaign finance laws to get rid of super PACs, which are allowed to raise money from mostly undisclosed sources and to use it essentially any way they want in support of one or more candidates.

Several super PACs have also been formed recently in support of Gingrich’s campaign. But the Globe reported Tuesday that none have yet to make any independent expenditures on ads or other campaign efforts on behalf of the former speaker.

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