A new video from independent expenditure group Priorities USA takes aim at Mitt Romney and signals the beginning of digital media spending by such organizations around the 2012 election.
According to the Federal Election Commission, the group, which is dedicated to helping President Obama win reelection, spent more than $60,000 on web ad production and digital media costs in October to fight Mitt Romney, assuming he'll be the Republican presidential nominee.
Priorities USA, the left's answer to groups like American Crossroads on the right, can raise unlimited funds and must disclose when they engage in communications for or against a federal candidate.
Priorities USA posted a web video to YouTube on November 1 targeting Romney and his stances on Wall Street regulation, home foreclosures, medicare, and social security, as well as his track record on job creation while governor of Massachusetts.
Another video from the group posted in October directs viewers to sign a petition at TheRomneyRule.com, which redirects to the Priorities USA Action website. The group claims the "Romney Rule" would reduce taxes on millionaires while increasing taxes on the middle class.
Organizations like Priorities USA can be expected to act as proxies for the official Obama for America campaign and the Democratic National Committee, though they are legally unable to coordinate with them. At this stage in the election cycle, they are using things like web ads and video to build supporter lists, and test how messages resonate in the hopes of gathering data to put to use when the campaigns ramp up in 2012.
On the right, Tea party groups Freedomworks for America and Our Country Deserves Better PAC have spent this year on web ads and video opposing President Barack Obama.
According to FEC reports, Priorities USA spent $60,600 in October with Global Strategy Group on "Media Web Advertising Production Costs," and digital advertising, specifically to oppose Mitt Romney.
An interesting sidenote: A television spot from Priorities USA released in June uses stock footage of a young redheaded girl who is also featured in a web video from former Republican primary candidate Tim Pawlenty.
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Kate Kaye was Managing Editor at ClickZ News until October 2012. As a daily reporter and editor for the original news source, she covered beats including digital political campaigns and government regulation of the online ad industry. Kate is the author of Campaign '08: A Turning Point for Digital Media, the only book focused on the paid digital media efforts of the 2008 presidential campaigns. Kate created ClickZ's Politics & Advocacy section, and is the primary contributor to the one-of-a-kind section. She began reporting on the interactive ad industry in 1999 and has spoken at several events and in interviews for television, radio, print, and digital media outlets. You can follow Kate on Twitter at @LowbrowKate.
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