Super PAC announces $500,000 ad buy against Scott Peters

A well-heeled conservative super PAC known as the “unofficial, official super PAC of [House Speaker] John Boehner” plans to make a $500,000 television and internet ad buy attacking Democratic Rep. Scott Peters.

The Congressional Leadership Fund announced the ad buy in a press release on Tuesday.

Emily Davis, a spokeswoman for the super PAC, said the buy will be for “about a week in mid-October.”

The television portion of the buy — what Davis described as “the vast majority” of the expenditure — will run on broadcast stations in the San Diego market. There are no present plans for cable buys, though that may change.

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The highly-regarded Rothenberg Political Report ranks the contest in the 52nd congressional district as one of only seven “pure tossup” races in the country.

The district runs north from Coronado to La Jolla, and then east to include Carmel Valley, Scripps Ranch, Poway and Rancho Bernardo.

Davis said the super PAC saw an opportunity.

“Carl DeMaio has already proven that he is a strong candidate with his primary election results, in his strong fundraising, strong messaging and strong grassroots game and we believe that Carl DeMaio is well-positioned to compete and win this November,” Davis said.

Alex Roth, a spokesman for the Peters campaign, saw things differently.

“Carl is reeling from being rejected by the U.S. Chamber, and tea party extremists are coming to his rescue,” Roth wrote in an email. “The Congressional Leadership Fund gets its money from the Koch Brothers, Sheldon Adelson and fringe groups, which is simply more proof that Carl DeMaio is far too radical to be a productive member of Congress.”

The group, which can accept unlimited contributions from individuals, corporations and other entities, reported having raised $1.9 million between January 1, 2013 and June 30, 2014. It reported having $1.2 million in cash-on-hand as of June 30.

Like all super PACs, it’s prohibited from coordinating its advertising with candidate campaigns.

For the 2013-2014 election cycle, the super PAC counts among its donors some of the biggest names in conservative political giving, among them:

  • Harold Simmons: The late Dallas businessman contributed $200,000 to the group last September.
  • John W. Childs: The founder and CEO of private equity firm J.W. Childs Associates contributed $125,000 last May.
  • Jim Davis: The chairman of running shoe maker New Balance forked over $100,000 in May.

The super PAC and a sister nonprofit are also planning ad buys in eight other U.S. House contests, including a $750,000 investment in the Sacramento-area race between Democratic Rep. Ami Bera and GOPer Doug Ose.

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About Joe Yerardi:

Joe Yerardi
Joe Yerardi is a freelance data journalist for inewsource, where he worked between 2013 and 2016 as an investigative reporter and data specialist. To contact him with questions, tips or corrections, email joe.yerardi@gmail.com.