Super PAC

Sara Plourde/NHPR

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is waving off super PACS that want to help him.

In an email Monday to supporters, his campaign manager Jeff Weaver says Sanders has been surprised to learn about the pro-Sanders campaigns of outside groups that are allowed to raise unlimited amounts of money from donors. Sanders rails against such groups on the campaign trail, saying they contribute to a corrupt political system.

"They should spend their money somewhere else," Weaver writes in the email. "We do not want their help."

Every four years, New Hampshire Primary candidates and their supporters buy up hours of commercial time on local TV in hopes of attracting potential voters.

But, this year, all the advertising has not translated into more support, especially on the Republican side.

NHPR’s digital reporter Brian Wallstin has been tracking the primary-ad war and he’s giving NHPR's All Things Considered the lay of the land.

So, here we are – a little more than two months before the primary. Are viewers sick of all the political ads yet?

Craig: Elen Nivrae via Wikicommons/CC; Sanders: Chris Jensen, NHPR

Here’s an unusual question to ask during presidential primary season: What does Daniel Craig, the actor who plays James Bond, have to do with Democratic hopeful Bernie Sanders?

It’s a familiar scene: Carly Fiorina’s presidential campaign has a meet and greet at a lumber yard in Wentworth. Nitsa Ioannides and Kerry Marsh stand behind a table, greeting guests.  Ionnides hands you a red CARLY For America sticker and a brochure; Marsh might recommend a yard sign.

betsythedevine via Flickr Creative Commons

Unprecedented spending by Super PACs has voters feeling deluged by 2012 campaign ads.

Yesterday, we reported on the fundraisers that lobbyists hold for Congressmen every day in Washington. Today, we hear what happens inside those events. The stories are part of our series on money in politics.

There has been one constant throughout the GOP campaign — Mitt Romney and the superPAC that supports him have vastly outspent his rivals.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's six primary wins on Super Tuesday didn't come cheap. An NPR analysis shows that last week alone, the Romney campaign and the pro-Romney superPAC combined spent nearly $7 million on TV ads.

Less than $1 million of that was spent by Romney's official campaign, while the pro-Romney superPAC Restore Our Future — which has almost exclusively engaged in negative advertising this year — spent $5.7 million.

That's compared to $220,000 spent on ads last week by the superPAC supporting former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum.

With 10 states holding Republican primaries or caucuses on March 6 — Super Tuesday — a lot of money is being spent on TV ads. The superPACs supporting the remaining GOP candidates have doled out some $12 million for ads in those states.

Leading the way is Restore Our Future, the superPAC that backs former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. According to Federal Election Commission numbers, Restore Our Future has spent $6.9 million on the Super Tuesday states.

The Republican presidential campaign has provided the first test of the Supreme Court’s “Citizens’ United” decision which allowed outside groups to spend millions on campaigns. While some decry their power, others say they represent free-and-democratic speech.  We’ll look at this issue and new information on who’s providing Super-Pac dollars.  

Guests