Hotshot political consultant Matt Mackowiak is a rising star in the very lucrative world of political consulting. His firm, the Potomac Strategy Group, helps Republicans win elections, but he's not working with Gov. Mitt Romney's campaign this election year.
People who are part of Mackowiak's tribe — the strategists, the opposition researchers, the pollsters — are discovering that they can have a much bigger impact working for outside groups that can raise unlimited amounts of money, unencumbered by the rules that restrict what a presidential campaign can do.
Thomas Massie's opponents were quick to complain that out-of-state money had "stolen" the election for him after he won the GOP nomination in Kentucky's 4th Congressional District.
Thomas Massie won't be sworn in as a member of Congress until next January, but he has already put one of his supporters at the top of his Christmas card list.
Massie won the Republican nomination in Kentucky's 4th Congressional District, just south of Cincinnati, on Tuesday in large part due to the backing of James Ramsey, a 21-year-old college student in Texas.
The latest deadline for the presidential candidates and the major superPACs to disclose their finances was Sunday night. The public and the media can find out who has been giving to the candidates, and how that money was spent. But there's a lot of political spending that isn't being reported.
Outside money groups are spending millions of dollars, and the donors remain anonymous. Two recent court rulings could force those groups to file public disclosures, but there already seems to be a way around that.
In the race for the Republican presidential nomination, only one candidate remains to challenge presumptive nominee Mitt Romney: Texas Rep. Ron Paul.
Even Paul has said he will no longer campaign in states that have yet to hold their primaries. And Paul has always been considered a long shot to win. But that hasn't deterred many of his hard-core supporters, including the Silicon Valley billionaire who has bankrolled the superPAC backing Paul.
Mitt Romney is disavowing a plan by some wealthy Republicans to attack President Obama for ties to his controversial former pastor. Even the people behind that proposal said they are abandoning it after their idea was plastered on the front page of The New York Times.
The proposal centered on the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, who was a mentor to Obama before the two parted ways during the last presidential campaign.
Republicans unaffiliated with Romney were considering spending $10 million on a racially tinged advertising campaign tying Wright to the president.