Campaign Ad Funding | VideoJessica Roose | 7/18/2012
Who are the major contributors to the organizations airing these ads? That`s what Democratic Senate candidate Heidi Heitkamp wants to know.
"It could be five tobacco companies who don`t like me, who are now contributing to a campaign and hiding that campaign at the US Chamber of Commerce, or with Concerned Women of America, or whatever interest group," said Heitkamp.
That`s because some of those organizations are registered as 501c4`s and do not have to identify their donors.
"That`s very problematic for the country, number one, that money has become such a huge part of it but number two, that we don`t know who these people are," said Heitkamp.
This week, legislation failed in the Senate that would have required these groups to identify donors who contribute more than $10,000. Heitkamp says that all of the outside ads in favor of her opponent, Representative Rick Berg are these 501c4`s.
A campaign manager for Berg said in a statement that groups in support of Heitkamp have spent or reserved nearly $2 million in false and misleading attack ads. He also added that the Berg campaign supports transparency in government and campaigns, but the way to accomplish that is with bipartisan reforms, not election year, staged partisan gamesmanship.
Heitkamp says because of these types of ads, it`s important for the candidates to participate in debates and discuss how they feel on the issues.