Ads for group that failed to file required FEC disclosures paid for by NRSC vendor
A conservative media consultant is accusing the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) of laundering money through a political consulting firm to a shadowy SuperPAC that ran racist negative ads attacking the Tea Party and Chris McDaniel in the Mississippi runoff election.
A filing with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) shows that the NRSC paid National Media Research, Planning & Placement of Alexandria, Virginia $13,000 for media production and $69,000 for media on June 20.
But Rick Shaftan of Mountaintop Media, whose firm has bought media extensively in the South, calls this a false disclosure and says no ad ever aired in Mississippi that was paid for by the NRSC. Shaftan alleges that National Media instead used these funds to purchase racially-charged radio ads on behalf of a group called ‘All Citizens for Mississippi,’ which has not filed any required FEC reports other than its Statement of Organization.
‘I called enough TV and Radio stations in Mississippi and personally examined records from the Memphis TV market that serves much of North Mississippi and there’s no record anywhere of even one ad airing from the NRSC,’ Shaftan said. ‘I’ve also reached out to hundreds of conservatives to ask everyone if they know about these mysterious ads. Nobody ever saw or heard anything that carried a ‘Paid for by the National Republican Senatorial Committee’ tag.’
Shaftan has provided exclusive documents to GotNews showing that the same day the NRSC reported sending funds to National Media, a buyer at National Media named Jon Ferrell placed multiple orders on black radio stations on behalf of All Citizens for Mississippi.
“There’s lots of political orders for ‘All Citizens for Mississippi’ placed by the exact same media buyer who places ads for the NRSC, as well as a Haley Barbour-linked SuperPAC called ‘Mississippi Conservatives’. But unlike Barbour’s SuperPAC, ‘All Citizens for Mississippi’ criminally refuses to file any contribution or expenditure reports with the FEC. Most of these orders list ‘American Media & Advocacy Group’ on the invoices — some list ‘National Media’ — and all are signed off on by Jon Ferrell of National Media. If they have paperwork at all.”
FEC rules prohibiting coordination between party committees like the NRSC and outside groups like All Citizens for Mississippi expressly prohibit sharing a vendor under 11 CFR 109.21(d)(4). A 120 day buffer is required by law between when a vendor works for a party committee and for an outside group. National Media received payment from the NRSC and placed buys for All Citizens for Mississippi on the same day, June 20.
The rules do provide for a safe harbor if a firewall is in place between employees who work for the party committee and others who work for outside groups. Shaftan notes, however, that Ferrell personally signed off on ad placement forms for NRSC buys last month in Arkansas, Iowa, and North Carolina.
“Jon Ferrell is the NRSC’s media buyer,” Shaftan said.
Ferrell’s biography on the National Media website suggests he is a compliance expert, saying: “Jon ensures that every penny allocated for media is spent according to election laws.”
Shaftan dismisses the possibility that Ferrell could have been firewalled from the NRSC expenditures in Mississippi. “Nobody believes that,” he said. “This money went into National Media and nobody saw any ad come out other than these All Citizens for Mississippi ads, and that group never filed any of its required FEC reports. I find it hard to believe that people at the highest echelons of the Republican Party would enter into a criminal conspiracy to defraud their donors and the voters of Mississippi, but the evidence appears that this is the case.”
“It’s up to the National Republican Senatorial Committee to come clean with their donors about where this $82,000 as well as an additional $93,000 transferred to National Media on June 20 for ‘telephone calls’ went. Donors were promised this $175,000 was going to be used to ‘defeat Harry Reid’. Instead it was used to run vile negative ads attacking a good conservative and instigating left-wing Democrats to invade a Republican Primary. If the facts are as they appear, and I believe even more will be coming out, those involved deserve long prison sentences,” Shaftan concluded.
This is Bishop Ronnie Crudup of All Citizens for Mississippi encouraging every registered voter to go out and vote on June 24.
We’re in critical time which means we must make tough decisions.
The issues do not just affect Republicans but they affect every citizen.
A victory by tea party candidate Chris McDaniel is a loss for the state of Mississippi.
It is a loss for public education.
It is a loss for the healthcare industry of this state, for the farm families and agriculture.
It is a loss for Ingalls and the ship industry, for our military bases.
It is a loss for the citizens of this state in a time of natural disaster, for our public universities and particularly our historically black universities.
A victory for Chris McDaniel is a loss for the reputation of this state for race, for race relationships between blacks and whites and other ethnic groups.
Mississippi can’t afford Chris McDaniel.
We cannot afford the price of inexperienced, untested, disconnected leadership.
Billions are at stake.
On June the 24th go out and vote for Senator Thad Cochran.
This ad was paid for by political action committee All Citizens for Mississippi.