Rep. Chip Cravaack is among more than 50 Republican congressional incumbents benefiting from a new $1.6 million media campaign launched by the American Action Network, an outside advocacy group.
The media buy is a combination of direct mail and print ads. The mailer going out in Cravaack's district focuses on President Barack Obama's Medicare record.
You can see an example here.
This is a second wave of ads from the group. Cravaack was among the congressional incumbents who benefitted from a $1 million ad campaign AAN paid for over the summer.
If AAN's name sounds familiar, that's because it was started by a familiar Minnesota Republican. After losing a drawn-out battle to regain his U.S. Senate seat, Norm Coleman helped launch the group, and he remains chairman of the group's board despite his new role as special adviser to GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
AAN is a 501(c)(4). In plain English, that means it's a non-profit group that is technically meant to advocate for issues; no more than half of its activity can be political. Such groups are attractive to big donors because, in most cases, the organizations don't have to disclose their support.
Can't wait for Common Cause and/or CREW to file a campaign finance complaint about Norm's abuse of his group's tax-deductable status. Can't imagine a judgement against him would look good for Romney.
By definition, donations to a 501(c)(4) are not tax deductable. No problem for Norm there.