Super PAC pres. says their money "dwarfed" by Labor dollars

The head of the Karl Rove-backed American Crossroads super PAC is confident that, although Mitt Romney will likely have a "significant...advantage over President Obama" in the fundraising race moving forward, when the election is over, neither side will be significantly outspent by the other.

Steven Law, American Crossroads' president and CEO, estimates his organization will raise a total of $300 million between 2011 and 2012, and will spend "roughly two-thirds of that towards the presidential effort."

But he was quick to argue to CBS News' Nancy Cordes in an interview for Face the Nation's "Face to Face" that that $300 million figure "will end up being dwarfed by what organized labor puts on the table."

Unions wound up raising at least $200 million on Democratic races in 2008, though it's unclear about how much of that was spent to help then-candidate Barack Obama.

Politifact: RNC said unions raised $400 million for Obama in 2008

American Crossroads is just one of several super PACs up and running this year and a CBS News analysis lists the largest donors; most of the top donors have given to Republican-related super PACs.

CBS News: Bankrolling the Super PACs

However, Law feels that when you total up all spending up after what is predicted to be a $2.5 billion election, neither side will have wound up with a financial advantage.

Center for Responsive Politics: 2012 election will be costliest yet

"I think if you put all our groups together and you put on the other side what labor unions, environmental groups, and other groups like that, the trial lawyers will spend on their side and I then think you compare overall spending by President Obama versus Mitt Romney I think it will not be tremendously out of whack on either side," said Law.

Cordes asked if, at those high levels, money just becomes "funny money."

Law acknowledged that "at some point there is a law of diminishing returns."

But, he continued, "Our goal always has been to equalize the playing field. In days past, the Republicans and groups on the right were vastly outspent by groups on the left, so just achieving parity for us or something like that, hopefully even a small financial superiority to us is success."

Even if the money isn't just "funny money," there's some speculation the vast sums and endless commercials might backfire on the campaigns by irritating voters. Law said that sentiment is taken into consideration, saying, "We try to run creative ads. We try to grab people in new and interesting ways."

Furthermore, Law expressed confidence in voters' ability to distill the information from ads into knowledge about the "key issues that matter to them." He said he's "always interested to see and impressed to see how voters" are eventually able to grab those bits and pieces of information that really matter to them." Crossroads president: GOP PACs to be dwarfed by labor moneyCrossroads' role in the process is to "provide as much information as we can. We try to make it accurate, we try to make it interesting but in the end the voters really do have the choice to make and I think they will."

"In the end we think that more information, more competitive information on either side ultimately serves the voter in the best way and that's what we're aiming to do," Law said.

  • Alicia Budich

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