Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
KNKX, along with NPR, will bring you all the information you will need as we close in on Election Day 2016. Stay up to date with local and national issues along with stories about how this election cycle will affect you and your family here in Washington and around the world.Also be sure to check out our series on Sound Transit's Proposition 1, also known as Sound Transit 3. You can read more about ST3 and this series here. Be sure to stay up-to-date with our national coverage too by clicking here.

Unraveling Who's Behind Those Negative Ads On TV In Washington

An ad targeting Republican Washington state Sen. Steve O'Ban was paid for by PACs run by Washington House and Senate Democrats.
The New Direction PAC
An ad targeting Republican Washington state Sen. Steve O'Ban was paid for by PACs run by Washington House and Senate Democrats.

Negative ads work. That’s why political campaigns air them. But these days figuring out who’s funding them can be like unraveling a mystery. And to follow the money you have to unpack and keeping unpacking the PACS.

Take this ad that tries to tie Republican state Sen. Steve O’Ban to Donald Trump:

https://youtu.be/TsdTMKFOD7g

At the end of this 30-second spot, a message appears: “Paid for by The New Direction PAC.” The top five contributors include the Harry Truman Fund and the Kennedy Fund.

What are they? And who funds them?

These are the names of political committees run by Washington House and Senate Democrats. Their biggest funders include the state’s teachers union and the Service Employees International Union.

On the Republican side there’s the Good Government Leadership Council. Its top contributor is The Leadership Council. That’s the Senate Republican’s political committee. Its major funder is the Republican State Leadership Committee -- whose top funder, according to OpenSecrets.org, is the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Copyright 2016 Northwest News Network

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy as well as the Washington State legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia." Prior to joining the Northwest News Network, Austin worked as a television reporter in Seattle, Portland and Boise. Austin is a graduate of Garfield High School in Seattle and Connecticut College in New London, Connecticut. Austin’s reporting has been recognized with awards from the Association of Capitol Reporters and Editors, Public Radio News Directors Incorporated and the Society of Professional Journalists.
Austin Jenkins
Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy, as well as the Washington State Legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia."
Related Content