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We know that the White House and all members of Congress are watching the Massachusetts Senate race. But special interest groups from outside of Massachusetts also have a huge stake in the outcome of the election, and they are spending their money accordingly.
I did a lengthy article last week to put all of the outside spending in context, but here's a quick run-down of the independent expenditures (meaning spending by groups to influence the election that are not related to the candidates' campaigns nor the official party organizations) for the last seven days, as tracked by the Federal Election Commission.
A survey of last-minute spending by interest groups reveals which groups have a significant interest in the outcome, and which candidate could owe those groups something on the other side of election day.
The most fascinating development on the Republican side is the activism of the new Tea Party movement. The PAC of the Tea Party Express has not spent the most of any conservative group (check out the Chamber of Commerce's spending), but it is taking the movement past protests at town hall meetings and using its money for more than a dozen targeted outreach and communications efforts to help get Brown elected.
On the Democratic side, union money is pouring in for Coakley, with Service Employees International Union and a related 527 labor group pumping in more than $1 million as the race heated up last week. Also spending big for Coakley is the League of Conservation Voters and two pro-choice groups -- Planned Parenthood and EMILY's List.
The stakes are high all the way around, and so is the spending.
Spending Supporting Brown or Attacking Coakley:
* The Tea Party Express PAC: $285,000 on e-mail and Internet newsletters and media buys.
* The Chamber of Commerce: $1,001,400 for media buys.
* Americans for Job Security, an organization created by the American Insurance Association: $479,268 for media buys.
* Cooperative of American Physicians, an association of California-based doctors: $35,400 for robo-calls.
* National Organization for Marriage, a group against gay marriage: $50,000 on calls.
* National Republican Trust PAC, a PAC dedicated to "protecting the legacy of Ronald Reagan" and supported by Dick Morris: $96,000 on media buys.
* National Rifle Association PAC: $19,000 for postcards.
Spending Supporting Coakley or Attacking Brown:
* Service Employees International Union: $685,000 on television and Internet ads.
* Citizens for Strength and Security, a 527 group that counts SEIU and the Communications Workers of America as donors: $590,000 for media buys.
* AFSCME, the union for federal, state and local workers: $100,000 for radio ads.
* Planned Parenthood PAC, pro-choice activists: $10,000 for get-out-the-vote calls.
* League of Conservation Voters PAC, environmental policy activists: $350,000 for media buys and ad production.
* EMILY's List, organization to elect pro-choice Democratic women to office: $72,000 for radio ads.
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