New York's 23rd district has been a quirky race all around, and, with all the national attention it's drawn, so too has come a good deal of national money. With only one House race happening in '09, where else would it go?
It's also being looked at as an ideological microcosm for the rest of the country, meaning interest groups had a point to prove in this contest, and that's exactly what they tried to do--with money.
So here's a breakdown of who spent what in New York's 23rd district, and who the major players were:
The three key players have been the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the National Republican Congressional Committee, and the conservative, Hoffman-backing, Club for Growth, one of the nation's leading free-enterprise groups, which poured almost as much resources into the race as the national parties did.
The Club announced this afternoon that it spent over a million dollars--$1,022,040 to be exact--in support of Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman, including just over $375,000 in donations bundled from Club members. It's direct spending totaled $645,276.
To put this in perspective, it's more than Democrat Bill Owens ($373,836) and Hoffman himself ($229,878) had spent, put together, as of their last full finance reports two weeks ago. (Right now, neither campaign knows exactly how much it has spent, exactly, and if you call them and ask, they'll tell you they're a little busy.)
This puts the Club just shy of what the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spent--$1,111,136--a figure that doesn't include bundled donations. The DCCC led everyone in spending, with the NRCC and the Club following, in order.
The National Republican Congressional Committee spent $897,404
candidate, Dede Scozzafava, who dropped out over the weekend total, $731,466 of which was in opposition to Owens exclusively, while the rest was spent contrasting Owens and the NRCC's candidate, Dede Scozzafava, who eventually dropped out over the weekend. Perhaps--and this is strictly conjecture--sensing that Scozzafava was
in trouble, the NRCC shrewdly geared its ad campaign in the race's
final two three weeks to attacking Owens, meaning it will get some dividends
from its spending if that helps Hoffman defeat the Democrat.
Consequently, the Club has been one of the biggest players in the NY-23 race. It endorsed Doug Hoffman in late September, before he began collecting accolades from conservative luminaries far and wide, and the effort it's put into the race validates, to some extent, what the Club's guiding project has been for the past few years: to support conservative candidates, sometimes in primaries against establishment-backed Republicans.
That's exactly what they did in NY-23, and, as Scozzafava dropped out over the weekend, it appears to have worked.
According to a spending count obtained by The Atlantic, the Service Employees International Union was next with $391,342 spent in support of Owens.
After that, Owens got more help from the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), to the tune of $199,850.
For Hoffman, the Susan B. Anthony List poured $87,922 into the race. Scozzafava, as a pro-choice Republican woman, ran directly counter to the Susan B. Anthony List's fundamental goal, which is to help pro-life women get elected.
After that came the National Republican Trust PAC with $93,322, the National Organization for Marriage with $50,864, New York teachers' union NYSUT with $48,250, Life and Liberty PAC with $33,580, and the Campaign for Working Families and the Eagle Forum PAC with $25,000 each.