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Hullabaloo


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

 
Making fools of the donors

by digby

It looks like Mr Super Executive and fiscal conservative is being taken to the cleaners by his campaign staff:

Voters in Columbus, Ohio, saw 30-second television ads for both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney while watching “Wheel of Fortune” on their CBS affiliate over three days in September. For Obama’s team, the order per spot cost $500. For Romney’s, the price tag on the order was more than five times steeper at $2,800 per ad.

That gap – found in data filed with the Federal Communications Commission — is an outgrowth of an unusual TV-buying strategy by the Romney campaign. Media strategists on both sides of the political aisle, along with station managers who handle ad placement, expressed puzzlement to POLITICO about the way Romney’s TV operation does business.

Unlike other presidential campaigns, which typically outsource their ad reservations and placement to specialized firms with large teams that know how to make the most of the complicated FCC payment procedures, Romney does all his TV buying in-house through a lean operation headed by a single chief buyer.

The campaign rarely buys cable ad time, focusing overwhelmingly on broadcast television. Romney places his commercials on a week-to-week basis, rather than booking time well in advance, and typically pays more so that his ads don’t get preempted and to spare his campaign the hassle of haggling over time as prices rise.
For those “Wheel of Fortune” ads in Columbus, for example, Obama bought the airtime on Aug. 29, according to the FCC data. Romney bought the time on Sept. 11, the day before his ads aired.

The Romney media operation is organized under the umbrella of a firm called American Rambler, which includes top Romney advisers Stuart Stevens and Russ Schriefer, the campaign’s chief media consultants, as well as Stephanie Kincaid, the campaign’s top buyer and a longtime employee of the Stevens and Schriefer Group. Press accounts have also named senior Romney campaign aide Eric Fehrnstrom as a Rambler partner, and Romney aides said other top officials’ work is handled through the firm.
The most recent Federal Election Commission data showed that the Romney campaign paid $85,258,006 to Rambler this cycle through August 2012, much of which represents ad buys with primary-election dollars.

Of course, to Mitt, that's chump change. But you have to wonder if their donors feel the same way.

A whole lot of Republican "strategists" are getting very, very wealthy from this campaign cycle, what with rich fools throwing millions at them. They're getting rolled, big time.

The funniest thing about it is seeing these "conservatives" rail against crony capitalism. Shameless doesn't even begin to describe it.


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