Watch CBS News

Who's Behind All The Non-Candidate Political Ads?

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Minnesota is on pace to see record campaign spending on the midterm elections, now just 15 days away.

Much of it on political ads from groups you've never heard of. But it's possible to de-code exactly who they are. Here's WCCO's Pat Kessler's Reality Check.

Outside groups from Washington spent more than $28 million inside Minnesota so far. That's roughly the size of the city budget in Detroit Lakes. Or more than a year's worth of lunches for low-income school children.

But this money? Campaign ads.

You're seeing these ads because Minnesota has four competitive Congressional races. You can tell by the millions of PAC dollars exactly which districts are in play: The 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 8th.

In the First Congressional District: More than $7 million; More than $5 million in the Second District, more than $8 million in the Third District and more than $7 million in the Eighth District.

What's hard to know is who's behind all these negative ads. But if you look closely, it's there, right in plain sight.

When a candidate tells you they approve this message, that means the ad is actually from the candidate. But most of the ads use names that don't reveal who they are.

"America First Action is responsible for the content of this advertising," one ad says.

That's President Trump's Super PAC.

"DCCC is responsible for the content of this advertising," another ad says.

That's the D-triple C: The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, directed by Nancy Pelosi.

And that's an ad from a Republican group headed by Speaker Paul Ryan. But not all the big spenders come from outside Minnesota.

"We cannot let Jeff Johnson become governor," one ad says.

That's Alliance for a Better Minnesota, a home-grown Democratic spending group.

"Keith Ellison: Embarrassing Radical Out of Touch," another ad says.

That's the Minnesota Action Network -- a Republican group founded by former Senator Norm Coleman.

There are dozens of Democratic and Republican groups operating just out of public view, and we'll show you how to find them.

Political experts predict their combined spending could top $50 million. That's Reality Check.

We are just two weeks away from the midterm elections.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.