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Look for the Tiny Green TV

BY Nancy Scola | Friday, October 29 2010

If you can't beat 'em, track 'em. The campaign finance watchdogs at the Center for Responsive Politics yesterday announced the addition of a television ad tracker to the outsider spending section on its popular site, OpenSecrets.org. The Supreme Court's Citizens United decision has, of course, freed groups like Americans United for Truth and Liberty (note: not an actual group, at least not yet) to pour money into local elections, no matter where they get it from. CRP's ad tracker is an attempt to use the power of the web to add a layer of transparency to political spending, answering a Supreme Court decision unsettling to many with greater, living-color disclosure. The ads run by the party committees, like the DSCC and NRSC, are in there, too. To check out the feature, visit Open Secrets' outside spending section and click where you see the tiny green TV icon. "We'll tell you who's sponsoring the ad, when it aired and whether it's for or against a certain candidate," says the CRP website.

The OpenSecrets.org ad tracker is a work in progress, but here's a sample: the ads that the American Action Network is running against Democrats across the country.

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