Dark Money Pours into Gianforte Campaign, Small Donors Step Up for Quist
HELENA – National Republicans are scared. After an independent Democrat nearly managed to pull off an upset in deep-red Kansas – in a district that voted for Donald Trump by 27 points – dark money donors are pouring in cash to bail out their pal, New Jersey multimillionaire Greg Gianforte.
Here’s the latest via the Wall Street Journal:
GOP Pours Money Into Montana House Race
WASHINGTON—Republican leaders may have been caught off guard by the weakness of their candidate in the Kansas special election, but they won’t let it happen again in Montana, where another House election will be held May 25.
Congressional Leadership Fund, the House GOP leadership’s super PAC, will spend “at least $1 million” on advertising and a paid get-out-the-vote effort, said CLF executive director Corry Bliss. Mr. Bliss said he is dispatching an aide from Washington to oversee the effort.
In addition, the National Republican Congressional Committee’s advertising arm is buying $148,000 in television airtime for a flight of campaign ads starting Friday, said Ben Burger, a consultant for the group, escalating the air war over filling the state’s only House seat. The GOP group is also spending $125,000 for digital ads starting Thursday.
You may remember that the Congressional Leadership Fund was one of the dark money groups behind the disastrous D.C. health care bill that would have raised Montanans' premiums by over $300 every month. They even pulled their support from Republicans who didn’t support that bill – which means Gianforte must be on board.
Meanwhile, populist Rob Quist continues to see an overwhelming response to his bid to be an independent voice for Montana. About 300 people turned out to his Bozeman event Wednesday.
"Quist is aggressively touring the state holding public events, but is being outspent on television ads by groups that back his Republican opponent, Greg Gianforte. Gianforte is not advertising public events."
Quist this week announced an impressive fundraising haul – $1.3 million, ending Q1 with more than 22,000 individual contributions averaging just $40. Quist also released his Federal Election Commission (FEC) report early so voters can see who is funding his grassroots campaign.
Gianforte? He’s welcoming dark-money special interests into Montana.
But that shouldn’t be too surprising, considering Gianforte has supported the dark money group behind Citizens United – the Supreme Court case that opened the floodgates for corporate spending and dark money in our elections.