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Millions being spent on ads for the International Bridge in Michigan and against Obama policies

July 6, 2012

According to data released by the Lansing-based group, Michigan Campaign Finance Network (MCFN), almost $7 million dollars has been spent on TV ads in the state regarding the proposed Detroit River International Crossing bridge.

The data released by MCFN shows that it is pretty even in terms of ad spending by those in favor of the bridge ($3,355,439) and those opposed ($3,416,033). The numbers for ad spending in the Grand Rapids/Kazoo TV market is also roughly even, with $680,579 spent in favor of the bridge and $714,509 being spent against the bridge.

According to MCFN:

DIBC (Detroit International Bridge Company) has already placed deposits for more television advertising that will commence immediately after Michigan’s August 7th primary election and run through September. It spent $6 million for television advertising in 2011 when it succeeded in killing enabling legislation for the bridge project in the Michigan Senate Economic Development Committee.

Presidential Attack Ads

In the Presidential race, neither the Obama nor the Romney camp has been spending money on TV ads since the February Primary, but the data shows that plenty of “non-profit” groups have been paying to attack the President’s policies.

According to MCFN:

The television ad war has been a one-sided attack against the administration and policies of President Barack Obama, funded by 501-c-4 nonprofit “social welfare” corporations that will not disclose their donors. Americans for Prosperity, American Future Fund, 60 Plus Alliance, American Energy Alliance and Crossroads GPS have spent $5.8 million for candidate-focused “issue” advertisements designed to emphasize one issue: The unsuitability of Barack Obama to be reelected president.

The patchwork of rules regulating disclosure of donors behind political advertisements has been skirted easily by the groups that have dominated the presidential campaign in Michigan so far. Americans for Prosperity began the campaign in January and stopped its advertisements 31 days prior to the Michigan presidential primary election on February 28th, one day before a disclosure window opened that required reporting of donors to committees sponsoring “electioneering communications.”

MCFN acknowledges that SuperPACs are required to disclose their donors, but they can receive funds from “non-profit corporations,’ which do not need to disclose where their money is coming from.

“What we’re seeing is the demise of accountability in federal political campaigns,” said Rich Robinson of the nonpartisan Michigan Campaign Finance Network. “This well-funded, highly coordinated campaign hid the identity of those who provided more than 90 percent of the money behind it.

Since the beginning of the year through June 30 there has been $6,400.486 has been spent on TV ads that are critical of the President. Over a million ($1,062,598) has been spent in the Grand Rapids/Kazoo TV market alone.

This kind of spending on TV ads will no doubt escalate once the August Primary is over and viewers will be inundated with political ads from all sides, once again demonstrating the absurdity of electoral cycles and how money influences outcomes.

One Comment leave one →
  1. madyawnzandlulz permalink
    July 7, 2012 1:30 pm

    “This kind of spending on TV ads will no doubt escalate once the August Primary is over and viewers will be inundated with political ads from all sides, once again demonstrating the absurdity of electoral cycles and how money influences outcomes.”

    Good point!

    But, this post doesn’t get across the absurdity of elections. Everyone knows that politics is dominated by money (duh). Instead of doing all these boring blogs on who is spending what on such and such issue (which is really not all that important or interesting), you should take a clear anti-election position.

    Scrap “Election Watch 2012″ and do a series of posts that explore the fallacies of electoral politics. That would be interesting!

    Otherwise I think your just adding to the election noise as these kind of post have been done to death. The specifics aren’t nearly as important as the total critique, which I don’t think people get from these. It’s more likely people reading these would either just ignore it (the majority) or think that the answer is just campaign finance reform (move to amend yaw!).

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