On the Records: News App Tracks Super PAC Spending

The team over at ProPublica has created a news app that tracks where, when and to whom Super PACs are giving their money. Called PAC Track, the application uses Super PAC independent expenditure data (via the New York Times Developer Network) collected by the Federal Election Commission.

Super PACs, such as Make Us Great Again, which supports Gov. Rick Perry, are required to notify the FEC of every independent expenditure within 24 to 48 hours of the expenditure, depending on the amount spent and the date in relation to an election.

Make Us Great Again, founded by former Perry chief of staff Mike Toomey, spent $3.8 million for 23 different media buys in support of Perry. The money went toward traditional publicity expenses, such as media production work and buying TV spots and direct marketing.

Endorse Liberty, which supports Ron Paul, has spent nearly $3 million for 143 different expenditures. Some of the purchases include video production and TV time, but many are for online advertising through outlets like Google's AdWords (which appear in relevant Google searches) and Facebook ads (that appear for users with matching interests).

Neither of the Super PACs have yet submitted an actual report to detail their contributors and how much cash they have on hand. PACs can choose to either submit reports on a monthly basis or a quarterly basis. On Jan. 9, Endorse Liberty informed the FEC that it will file monthly. Make Us Great Again is on a quarterly schedule.

Both Super PACs will be expected to submit a report by Jan. 31. Keep an eye on the Texas Tribune in the first week of February for coverage.

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