The primaries are over, but the (early) ads are just beginning

Ha! You may think the TV political ads were over for a while.

But that’s not exactly true.

Here are the two post-primary TV things to know, for now:

First, while state Rep. Joe Salazar was deciding whether to concede the Democratic attorney general contest to winner Phil Weiser, the Republican Attorneys General Association was getting busy.

Colorado Freedom, the national group’s Colorado super PAC, spent nearly $45,000 on this TV ad promoting GOP AG candidate George Brauchler, and another $15,000 on digital ads.

Expect to hear more from both the RAGA and the Democratic Attorneys General Association on this contest in the months to come.

Among the RAGA’s Colorado donors since January 2017 are the Anschutz Corp. at $100,700; Whiting Oil and Gas at $75,000; Tri-State Generation and Transmission at nearly $61,000; Extraction Oil and Gas, the Association of Dental Support Organizations and Dish Network at $50,000 each; Pete Coors at $25,000; Western Union Financial Services at $30,000; and Newmont Ventures at $10,000.

The DAGA’s Colorado donors include Dish Network at $50,000; law firm Brownstein Hyatt Farber & Schreck at $30,300; Western Union Financial Services at $15,575; and Property Casualty Insurers of America at $15,000.

Both organizations will file new reports with the IRS on July 15.

In other statewide races, Democratic Secretary of State candidate Jena Griswold reported paying Bluewest Media $260,000 for fall media buys in her recent campaign filing, though we haven’t seen contracts on the FCC site, yet.

Second, some nonprofits continue to take aim at 3rd Congressional District GOP Rep. Scott Tipton.

Colorado United for Families began airing ads the day after the primary and has contracts scheduled through July 29 in Grand Junction and the Colorado Springs-Pueblo markets. The group had already aired nearly $159,000 worth of ads during the spring. This month’s buys are for more than $200,000.

The group isn’t registered as a business or as a political committee with the Colorado Secretary of State. ProgressNow Executive Director Ian Silverii is listed on the group’s advisory board.

Another nonprofit, Health Care FAQs, aired nearly $214,000 worth of TV ads in the district in June before the primary. Those ads carried a similar message, but didn’t mention Tipton.

Contracts filed with the Federal Communications Commission name Eric Kessler as president of Colorado United for Families and as board chair of Health Care FAQs.

The Washington address listed for the two groups is the same as that of New Venture Fund, a group that Kessler chairs and co-founded. Kessler is a former field director for the League of Conservation Voters and a former Clinton administration official. He has a bachelor’s degree from University of Colorado Boulder.

Tipton faces Democratic former state Rep. Diane Mitsch Bush in the November general election.

Thus far, national groups appear focused on the 6th CD in the Aurora area, where incumbent GOP Rep. Mike Coffman faces Democratic challenger Jason Crow. While Democratic and Republican committees have reserved more than $3.7 million in Denver airtime aimed at the 6th CD, they haven’t reserved any time on the Western Slope or Pueblo markets.

Photo by rabbot via Flickr: Creative Commons

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