The election is over but the Federal Election Commission reporting ain’t. I just finished going through additional online media expenditures reported by the McCain campaign. The new estimate is $2.36 million. (I reported last month that the McCain camp spent $1.53 million according to 2008 FEC reports representing expenditures into October.)
As I noted then, McCain’s FEC reports are really cryptic – unlike Obama’s which were quite transparent. So, the most I know is John McCain 2008 and McCain-Palin 2008 paid around $2.6 million for “media” to its Web ad consulting firm, Connell Donatelli. (I shaved off around 10 percent to account for fees and other ad charges that didn’t go towards actual media buys.) Just to make it even more opaque, the McCain campaign lists the firm as “CD, Inc.” But, my understanding of how the campaign operated is that Connell Donatelli, a.k.a. CD, handled the Web media.
Meanwhile, Obama’s campaign reported individual expenditures to media firms, so I’ve been able to decipher much more about where they spent.
There’s another wrinkle in that the McCain campaign also created a Victory Fund and a Compliance Fund to circumvent those pesky campaign finance regulations. I haven’t seen any payments to CD in reports from those entities yet, though I’ve been told to look for them.
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