From the press release:
Today, CRP is unveiling a new tool that allows users to track political ad buys daily, as they are reported to the Federal Communications Commission. CRP’s new project is the latest of several worthy efforts that have sought to unlock this information — crucial as it is to understanding how candidates, super PACs and dark money groups operate in elections. In 2012, Jacob Fenton (then of the Sunlight Foundation) created “Political Ad Sleuth,” a pioneering achievement that became the go-to resource for researchers and journalists tracking ad buys reported to the FCC. Similarly in 2012, ProPublica’s Free the Files project tracked FCC filings, and, like AdSleuth, it engaged users by asking them to help crowdsource the very messy data. ….
What you can do with OpenSecrets’ new ad tracker
We couldn’t have done our post on Majority Forward’s advertising in New Hampshire without being able to track its “issue ad” buys through station filings with the FCC, which is the data we are processing and making far more usable for journalists, the public and watchdog groups with our new tool. Having ready access to this data will, among other things, make it possible (for those who can’t afford an expensive private subscription service) to see who’s running political ads that aren’t reported to the Federal Election Commission.