David Keating of the Center for Competitive Politics took a more doom and gloom approach in his remarks. “The right of every American and the causes they believe in is under attack,” he told attendees.
Keating added that nonprofits are being unfairly targeted because they represent only 5 percent of total political spending. When asked by POLITICO to explain the 5 percent number, Keating said he was including only money spent by nonprofits directly advocating specific candidates and not issue ads that might criticize or praise candidates on a particular issue but don’t explicitly ask viewers to vote for or against them.
“Where do you begin to count issue advocacy? I know organizations try to do it, but they don’t disclose their methodology and no one can replicate it,” Keating said. “I think those numbers are junk. You might as well include the value of New York Times editorials in those numbers.”