McCain-Feingold Diminishes Party Ad Spending — Big Time
In a piece by Liz Wilner for the Cook Political Report, she reports: “In the 2014 midterm elections, outside groups are on track to account for a majority of all TV ad spending. In a recent talk for the association of local TV broadcasters, the University of San Francisco’s Ken Goldstein, using CMAG data, calculated that outside groups’ share of spending on TV advertising in midterm elections escalated eight-fold within eight years: from just 6% in 2002, to 26% in 2006, to 48% in 2010.
Conversely, groups’ growing share of TV ad spending has come mostly at the expense of parties, whose share shrunk from 32% of TV ad spending in 2002 to 21% in 2006, to a paltry 8% in 2010, per Goldstein and CMAG data.
That’s astounding when you think about it.
As lobbyist Bruce Mehlman observes, “McCain-Feingold drove money [and] power from broader, transparent party committees to opaque, single-issue outside groups.”
A firm verdict of failure has been rendered on the ostensible rationale for McCain-Feingold.