As independent committees play increasingly important roles in political campaigns, more are starting ad campaigns earlier. Republican and Democratic radio and digital ads have already appeared in area congressional races, and now the group End Citizens United is pledging a $35 million campaign in next year’s congressional elections.
The group said it wants to help candidates committed to rolling back the big spending permitted by the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling.
It will target what it calls “the Big Money 20” next year, incumbents it says are known to accept large contributions from special interests.
Three of the 20 are Republican Congressman in this region – Ryan Costello and Pat Meehan in Pennsylvania, and Tom MacArthur in New Jersey.
Nationally, all 20 are Republicans.
In a conference call with other reporters last week, I asked End Citizens United director Tiffany Muller if the campaign was a partisan effort.
She said she looks forward to someday finding Republicans committed to serious campaign finance reform.
“Right now, we aren’t presented with any Republicans who are fighting to make that change in the system,” she said. “So, currently, our list is targeting Republican incumbents and supporting Democratic challengers.”
Muller said the first ads will be announced in the next few weeks.The group’s most recent campaign finance filing showed it had about $4.9 million on hand.
Andrea Bozek, a spokeswoman for Costello, called End Citizens United a left-wing special interest group.