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April 10, 2008
Dems Plan $40 million hit on McCain
The Democrats are raising tons of money this primary season with both Obama and Clinton topping $100 million each and the Illinois senator approaching a stratospheric $200 million.
Needless to say, GOP hopeful John McCain is far behind and is seriously considering public financing for his general election coffers.
But all of this pales in comparison to what independent groups will spend for the election. Deep pockets on both sides will attempt to sway voters with the deepest pockets belong to the Democrats; the party's Daddy Warbucks George Soros:
The planned campaign is the product of a shakeup in the top ranks of the struggling independent Democratic groups. Brock, now best known as the ex-conservative founder of the liberal group Media Matters, last month quietly assumed the chairmanship of what's expected to be the main vehicle for independent Democratic attacks on McCain, now called Progressive Media USA. That kind of money buys a whole lot of negative advertising. No doubt the group will seek to spread that money around in battleground states like Ohio and Florida.
The move comes after the groups that had been expected to spearhead attacks on McCain – the Fund for America and Progressive Media USA's previous incarnation, the Campaign to Defend America – failed to raise the money needed to dent McCain's armor.
"We're a little behind where we need to be," he said. But after a dinner Tuesday night at the Manhattan apartment of liberal megadonor George Soros, at which Brock and the consultant Paul Begala laid out the group's plans, Brock said his group now has commitments worth $7.5 million – almost twice what the Fund for America is expected to report raising in the first quarter of this year.
He said the group would begin running ads before it meets its $40 million goal.
Can McCain answer? So far, no comparable group has emerged in the GOP. But it is early yet and once the Democratic nominee is chosen, expect similar activity by the Republicans. They probably won't match the $40 million to be spent by the Soros group but their contributions will be significant.