* Scoop from the Sun-Times…
A conservative SuperPAC touting Duckworth rival Joe Walsh is preparing to dump an extra $2.5 million into the heated 8th Congressional District race — on top of $2 million it has already spent, a source familiar with the plan told the Chicago Sun-Times.
The idea is to “bury Duckworth,” the source said.
The revelation comes a day after Duckworth reported that she personally raised more than five times as much as Walsh did in the last quarter — about $1.5 million to the Republican’s $251,000. That means that the Now or Never SuperPAC spent eight times what Walsh was able to raise himself in the last quarter.
The Duckworth campaign and the DCCC failed to define Joe Walsh early with paid media. They counted on the Democratic map and Walsh’s horrible reputation to sink the freshman Republican. And they figured Duckworth’s very solid fundraising was probably enough. So far, they’ve been wrong on all counts. As I’ve said before, Duckworth hasn’t lost it yet, but the Democrats are in real danger there.
* Meanwhile, both campaigns have filed what look like almost meaningless complaints against each other…
Republican U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh helped found a group that is the top contributor to a SuperPAC supporting his re-election bid.
Walsh’s campaign says he hasn’t been involved with the group, Americans for Limited Government, for a decade. By law, SuperPACs and the candidates they support cannot have direct contact. […]
Walsh attacked Duckworth for being several hours late in filing her complete third-quarter campaign finance report. He has subsequently filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission.
* More on Now or Never…
In filings with the Federal Elections Commission, it appears Now or Never began as a group of Missouri business men interested in helping state treasurer Sarah Steelman win the Show-Me State’s GOP Senate primary in August. But when Steelman finished third, Now or Never went quiet.
But on the same day Now or Never started its TV ad buys to help Walsh, the PAC received a $1 million contribution from Americans for Limited Government. Eleven days later, another donation from ALG came in for a little less, $950,000.
Why would ALG, a conservative group that advocates for a more limited federal government and reduced spending, go to the trouble funneling almost $2 million through a Missouri PAC instead of doing it directly themselves?
We got this from ALG communications director Richard Manning by e-mail: “Now or Never PAC does an impressive job of fighting for free market principles, which are in alignment with Americans for Limited Government, and we are proud to support it.”
Every penny received by Now or Never in September, when it launched its Illinois ad blitz,came from a Virginia-based nonprofit called Americans for Limited Government. ALG forked over, in two payments, a whopping $1.95 million. As a nonprofit, ALG doesn’t disclose its donors.
Americans for Limited Government was co-founded in 1996 by real estate investor Howard Rich, who also serves on the boards of the Cato Institute and the Club for Growth. According to Politico, ALG has been among the recipients of funding from the extensive donor networkestablished by the billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch. ALG has also employedSean Noble, according to Politico, who helped to oversee how the Koch donor network’s contributions were spent.
Ray Wotring, a spokesman for ALG, refused to say who funds his organization. “We as a practice don’t reveal our donors,” he says. Wotring also declined to say why ALG contributed to Now or Never. Harber, a spokesman for Now or Never, says in an email that the super-PAC discloses all of its donors. “ALG isn’t our first, last, or only donor,” Harber notes. “We can’t compel them to disclose their donors, but we have done everything we can to be as transparent and accessible as possible.”
* Less glitz, glamour in local debate prep: Walsh, sources said, relies on some training he received in the mid-1980s in stage, theater and television at the Lee Strasburg Theatre and Film Institute in New York.
* Heritage Action for America Goes Duckworth Hunting: Earlier this year, Walsh received a 93 percent rating on the foundation’s scorecard, one of the highest in Congress — far higher than any other member of the Illinois delegation. Walsh won the organization’s approval by voting to repeal Obamacare, to block loans to green energy companies, and to disapprove of the administration’s waiver of welfare-to-work requirements. Heritage Action for America has paid Walsh back for his commitment to conservative principles by opening a Victory Center in the 8th District, and with a new website, “5 Facts About Tammy Duckworth.”