Political leanings: Conservative, Republican
Spending target: Unknown; $7 million spent by September 2010
The Committee for Truth in Politics is a conservative, Republican-leaning group represented by attorney James Bopp, who has said he wants to "pretty well dismantle the entire regulatory regime that is called campaign finance law." Bopp also represented Citizens United in a lawsuit that led the Supreme Court to overturn restrictions on corporate and union funding of political campaigns.
The CTP makes no public disclosure of its finances and does not maintain a website. But in court papers, it has described itself as an "issue-advocacy, nonstock, nonprofit" corporation based in Cary, N.C., and formed in September 2008. It is suing the Federal Election Commission to avoid having to disclose what it spent on ads attacking Barack Obama in 2008. It seeks to have certain FEC disclosure requirements declared unconstitutional.
It aired two ads attacking Obama in 2008. One claimed that Obama voted to allow early release of convicted sexual abusers when he was a state senator in Illinois. The fact is Obama immediately recanted that vote and said he had pushed the wrong button, an omission that led us to call the ad "absurdly wrong." The other ad attacked Obama for voting against measures aimed at protecting infants that survived late-term abortion attempts. Court papers say that the abortion ad aired in North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin for two days.
CTP has resurfaced in the 2010 congressional midterm elections. In February, it ran ads in 10 states that made exaggerated claims against a bank bailout bill that had been supported only by Democrats. And in September, it aired an ad attacking Democratic Rep. Zack Space of Ohio, claiming that his vote for a cap-and-trade bill to limit carbon emissions "could send over 100,000 Ohio jobs overseas." Altogether, Kantar Media’s Campaign Media Analysis Group, which tracks political television advertising, estimated that CTP had spent a total of $7 million on TV spots in 2010 as of Sept. 9.