There is a negative ad campaign being launched in Georgia against the candidacy of Democrat Michelle Nunn from the “End Spending” super PAC, the brain child of the former CEO of TD Ameritrade. The group describes itself as an “independent 501(4)c” which is roughly analogous to describing the wheels as independent of the bicycle.
Open Secrets offers a more exact description:
“Ending Spending is a conservative 501(c)4 group that focuses on federal spending and the national debt. The group originally targeted earmarks, but broadened its message to include balancing the federal budget and paying down the national debt. The group was founded by Joe Ricketts, the former CEO of TD Ameritrade and a known conservative backer. Brian Baker, the current president of Ending Spending, was an adviser to former Sens. Robert Dole and Richard Shelby. The group does not disclose its donors, and its money goes towards electioneering expenses.”
The Washington Post reported that as of August 1, 2014 ES Action Fund had ladled $345,000 for air time in August. The Nunn campaign made a $331,000 ad buy. And where might all the the ES Action Fund money come from, even if the donors aren’t published the New York Times ferreted out some from the 2012 campaign, and the names ought not to be any surprise.
First, of course, there’s Mr. Ricketts who put $11.7 million in the pot in 2012, and then to absolutely no one’s surprise the next two names on the list are Nevada’s own Sheldon and Miriam Adelson, who each donated a half million each in the 2012 cycle. [NYT] It shouldn’t come as any more of a surprise to find the name of Linda McMahon on a 2014 donor listing. [CPI] Given the generosity of its donors, and their deep pockets, state elections aren’t off the table, the organization has already ventured into state elections in the Wisconsin recall, and the 2012 Nebraska Senate race.
Thus, when the end of the ad says – brought to you by the ES Action Fund, be advised this is the old GOP/Koch/Adelson Gang showering ultra conservative candidates and causes with thousands of reasons to vote in favor of more breaks for millionaires and billionaires.