Halloween was a banner day for scary surprises in the independent political expenditure arena. According to FEC filings, the Washington, D.C.-based Club for Growth spent another $259,599 on Oct. 31 alone for more TV attack ads against Democratic congressional candidate Larry Grant in Idaho. They weren’t the only ones – the National Republic Congressional Committee reported spending $139,788 the same day for its own “issue ad placement” against Grant, along with $11,230 a day earlier for more “robocall” phone banks calling Idahoans with anti-Grant messages.
That’s not all – the Republican Governors Association reported to the Idaho Secretary of State’s office that it spent $62,300 on Halloween for a TV ad attacking Democratic candidate for governor Jerry Brady, following up on the $172,980 the GOP governors group spent Oct. 27 against Brady.
The Idaho State Democratic Party Central Committee reported spending $37,481 on Halloween for its own “production and media buy” attacking Republican candidate for governor Butch Otter, along with $8,729 a day earlier for anti-Otter printing costs. Meanwhile, ahead of the Halloween rush, the Idaho Republican Party dropped $20,000 on Oct. 26 for independent advertising to boost Otter, and a day before that, the Idaho Realtors PAC spent $29,269 for its own direct-mail piece for Otter.
That’s all independent expenditures, aside from what the campaigns themselves are spending in their final pre-election push…
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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