It looks like Missouri has become a proving ground for national political groups that want to pursue no-holds-barred spending in races for federal office.
The New York Times reports that outside groups are pouring money into Missouri to defeat incumbent Democrat Claire McCaskill in the November general election. Three Republicans are battling as frontrunners in today’s primary election to challenge McCaskill: Former state treasurer Sarah Steelman, businessman John Brunner and U.S. Rep. Todd Akin.
The candidates have been running plenty of their own ads on local TV stations. They’ve also been getting help from CrossroadsGPS, a tax-exempt social welfare organization, which has been running anti-McCaskill ads since earlier this year, according to information we’ve gathered from commercial TV stations in Columbia and Jefferson City. CrossroadsGPS has spent nearly $98,000 since mid-March through early July on ads like this:
CrossroadsGPS is not a political action committee under federal campaign law, so it does not need to report its contributors or spending.
Americans for Prosperity, another tax-exempt social welfare organization, has spent more than $122,000 so far in mid-Missouri,according to our analysis of the contracts.
Here’s an ad that the group’s been running against McCaskill:
With the prize of the U.S. Senate seat up for grabs in the November election, you can bet that you’ll see an explosion in spending by outside groups.