The Ending Spending Fund, a recently incorporated “super PAC” registered to CPA Nancy Watkins at a Tampa address housing 32 other active political committees in Florida, spent $555,562 in media buys Thursday in three close House races as well as the deadlocked Nevada Senate race.
The Ending Spending Fund incorporated as an independent-expenditure-only PAC on Oct. 5, allowing it to spend freely on multiple campaigns provided it does not coordinate with them. The group has to disclose its donors; however, the group is too new to have qualified for the October quarterly deadline.
On Oct. 19, Ending Spending spent $594,438 on a media buy in the Nevada Senate race against Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and spent another $243,144 against him Thursday. It also spent $186,334 against Rep. John Spratt, D-S.C., $71,334 against Rep. Chet Edwards, D-Texas, and $29,900 against Rep. Walt Minnick, D-Idaho. (Despite being a Democrat, Rep. Minnick was the only Democrat endorsed by the Tea Party Express — until Friday, when it revoked his endorsement. He voted against the health care bill and the stimulus, and John McCain won his district by 26 points in 2008.)
Ending Spending is one of 32 committees registered to Watkins at 610 South Blvd. in Tampa. Most of the committees registered fund Republican causes — Watkins said in a 2009 Florida Trend profile that she supported groups calling for “limited government and more freedom.” In 2009, the Federal Elections Committee fined Watkins $99,000 for various violations associated with her work as treasurer for the (Mel) Martinez for Senate campaign.
When no-party candidate Bud Chiles was running in the governor’s race, he held a press conference outside the building, calling it “ground zero for what’s wrong with Florida politics.” He asked, “What’s being hidden from Florida voters?”
Luke Johnson reports on Florida for The American Independent.