How Much Is Newsmax Spending On PPC?

With all the pundits talking about how much money Barack Obama has raised and spent during the general election campaign, all the hubbub about his decision to opt out of public financing, etc. – I have wondered why so little talk about the right-wing money machine. You know, the organizations (including the Republican National Committee) that pumped untold millions into supporting George W. Bush against Al Gore and John Kerry.

Nobody mentions the little fact that if Obama had accepted public financing, he would have been outspent as badly as Kerry, or worse. That’s because although the candidates have equal public money to spend, social conservatives* and other interests behind the right wing will spend like crazy to keep their friends in power. Campaign finance “reforms,” championed by John McCain and others, didn’t reform the system – they just changed the game.

But we all know that. Right?

If you follow the campaign online, you’ve probably seen about 18 gazillion image ads run by “Newsmax.com,” asking questions like “Can Obama Win?” If you click one (I encourage you to do so, for research purposes), there’s a multi-question “poll,” followed by an email opt-in box. If you subscribe, you’ll begin receiving “news” updates via email. The “news” you’ll receive is slanted so far to the right that it makes FOX News look like, well, real news.

These ads have been running throughout the campaign. Any site with election news that carries Adsense or YPN ads is likely to be littered with them.

Is Newsmax’s spending on behalf of the McCain campaign subject to any sort of limits? Of course not – nor should it be – I don’t see how any spending limitation squares with the 1st amendment… but I do wonder how much cash Newsmax and others are pouring into this thing.

Whether you’re a pathetic tool of the vast right wing conspiracy, a pathetic tool of the vast left wing conspiracy, or just an ordinary citizen trying to make the best decision on election day, know this:

John McCain and his supporters are whining about Obama’s decision for one reason only. They’re upset about losing the huge money advantage they’ve had in previous election cycles. They can’t “Swift Boat” their way to victory. I don’t remember any of them complaining about the “unprecedented” money being spent on Bush’s behalf in 2004. The shoe was on the other foot back then.

Democrat or Republican, you can count on politicians to be outraged at the amount of money being spent, when they are at a disadvantage in a given race.

Sorry for the rant.

No, I’m not.

* Are there any fiscal conservatives left in the Republican Party? If so, why? They don’t even try to balance the budget – jeez, the Democrats managed to do that under Clinton. Isn’t it time we had a party of our own?

30 thoughts on “How Much Is Newsmax Spending On PPC?

  1. Dude, leave off the politics and stay on SEO. You’ve managed to simultaneously look callow and offend several people in my office who have you on RSS.

    -HaC

  2. Sigh…Dan, I had such a good image of you! :-) But I guess I shouldn’t have expected an Internet Marketer from the Northwest to be conservative, even if he does live in the Republican dominated city of Frisco.

    Yes, there are conservative 527 groups spending lots of money, but not NEARLY as much money as is being spent by 527′s for Obama. And, the same was true in 2004 and every other year. The Dems have the Unions on their side, who take member dues, regardless of their personal political persuasion, and dump it upon the Republican candidates. And, lets not forget the infamous moveon.org, perhaps the largest fundraiser in the history of mankind, who is known for their vicious attack ads and makes the swift boat veterans look like boy scouts (or..say..veterans).

    OpenSecrets.org (http://www.opensecrets.org/527s/index.php) gives an excellent example of this years spending. Out the 5 top organizations giving money, 4 are liberal, with the #1 organization, a union, giving more than $30,000,000. Out of the top 5 individuals giving money, 3 are liberal.

    Are we Republicans complaining? Sure, but it’s not about Obama & Company outspending us – that’s fair play. Rather, it’s about Obama promising, and campaigning to accept public financing if his opponent would, only to change his mind when he saw that it wouldn’t benefit him. CNN did a story about Obama’s failure to keep his word just the other day: Cutting Through the Bull: Obama breaks promise on campaign finance http://tinyurl.com/5msjmt

    I DO agree with your last point. It sure doesn’t see like there are any fiscal conservatives. However, McCain’s nomination makes me wonder where the social conservatives are as well.

  3. Hey Brian,

    A**hats like MoveOn.org are why I ain’t a Democrat either. :D

    It’s just the same old story – the losers complain that the system is unfair. The system sucks, but there’s no easy way to fix it.

    Obama did change his mind on public financing, and I suppose it’s as fair game as anything either candidate has changed their mind on. Politicians do that all the time. In this case it bothers me less than other things Obama or McCain have flipped on.

    I used to be a Republican, back when that meant “balance the budget.” Been a long time since the party got hijacked, and I’ve always been a lot closer to libertarian than “liberal.”

  4. Does any of it really matter? We have all read this sick joke book before. Both characters make ridiculous promises, tell blatant lies, and concoct half-truths. Both pretend to be just like us and to actually care about the American people. Both tell us how the previous administration is responsible for ALL of our problems (couldn’t possibly be lack of personal responsibility, could it?!). Tons of money is flushed down the toilet instead of being put to good use. Somebody gets elected and nothing changes. The End.

  5. Well Dan I think it’s great to see PPC linked in to the real world so I’m really happy with your remarks and I’d welcome more.

    Real SEO should be like real copywriting – it’s about psychology and real people’s behaviour.

    Last time I looked that was covered by politics too!

    Keep on trucking Dan!

    Alex

  6. @Brock,

    I don’t remember anyone ever telling us that their predecessors were responsible for everything that’s wrong.

    But the current administration did take actions that influenced, for example, the size of the federal budget deficit. When the government borrows 500 billion dollars a year, that reduces the amount of available credit for other things.

    Some believe these actions made things worse, others believe that things would be worse without these actions.

    Was the war in Iraq necessary? If so, was the war carried out as it should have been? Did Bush’s tax cuts make things better, or worse? How you answer these questions likely affects your decisions on election day.

    Elections generate more economic activity than hundreds of Super Bowls – money that is spent in this country employs people, benefits investors & retirees, adds to tax revenues, etc.

    It’s not flushed down the toilet, and by the way, the donors to both campaigns are mostly people like us, who have every right to spend our money as we see fit.

    Here’s a simple equation from Econ 101: MV=PQ

    PQ is the price x the quantity of everything, and represents the size of the economy. M is the supply of money, V is the velocity of money, or how often a dollar gets spent, and creates a “money multiplier,” representing how much the impact of a new dollar in the money supply adds to the economy.

    MV is the part that can be influenced by policy makers and individuals. PQ is simply the outcome.

    Gotta agree with you that neither candidate is making much of personal responsibility…

    McCain wants the government to buy mortgages and retroactively reduce the amount of the loan, to “keep home values up,” which perversely means that those who wish to buy a home (the American Dream?) would end up paying *more* – this is welfare for the home “owners” who borrowed more than they could afford for a speculative investment.

    That’s a plan to reward irresponsible decisions – and he wants to use my tax dollars (and my grandchildren’s since he’s determined to run a deficit) to pay for it.

    Obama… well, he does want us to turn off the TV and make our kids do their homework, but aside from that, um… yeah.

    @Alex, one thing that’s interesting about Newsmax’s activity is that they are doing email lead generation, and may even be able to turn a profit off the list.

    MSNBC and FOX are the Dems’ and Repubs’ pet “news” networks, respectively, but these organizations both make money on their propaganda operations. They are each as biased as they are, in part, because it creates a loyal audience to watch paid advertising.

    If Newsmax were simply luring people to their site to deliver a political message, they’d be accomplishing very little.

    Funny that a lot of PPC advertisers do just that. Capturing leads means you get to keep the conversation going.

    This isn’t necessarily the best action for every business, but a lot of folks ignore the possibility in favor of trying to make an immediate sale.

  7. Wow, it’s great to see such strong opinions on the upcoming election! As far as the recent Canadian election, the best thing is that it’s over.

  8. Professor Dan, thanks for the lesson. I bow down to the master. :)

    Still don’t see how people can pin everything on an administration because it is not as if the president gets to select all of the members of congress and the senate. No one person or small group of people is responsible for this mess. All of those fat cats in Washington are responsible (both republican and democrats).

    Either way, the quality of my life has not changed one bit whether it was Clinton or Bush in office. Why? Because I take complete responsibility for my own life and I don’t waste my time and energy looking for someone else to blame when things don’t go as planned. People that do that need to grow up. A tough life in America is better than a great life in many other areas of the world.

    Dan, glad you are a member of the StomperNet faculty because you do an amazing job sharing your experiences and what you have learned. Thanks!

    Best wishes,
    Brock

  9. Thanks, Brock.

    The worst aspects of the current mess are the result of changes in regulations. None of which were 100% bad, and it’s easy to say in hindsight, 8 years after the “derivative game” started in earnest, that everyone should have known better.

    I saw a very perverse housing market in 2003 when I bought my current home – appraisers, lenders, brokers, everyone had strong incentives to use “creative financing” to create more demand and drive home prices up.

    BTW, that also caused a lot of building, and employed a lot of people – nothing is 100% bad.

    With prices dropping, those who paid too much, and/or borrowed too much under ridiculous terms, find themselves “upside down” on their mortgages, and because nobody thinks long term any more, they think it’s a good idea to just have the keys back to the bank. This is bad.

    With prices dropping, home ownership is coming back into reach for a lot of people, and a tremendous number of folks are opening the door to their first home. This is good.

    Because I am an old-school economic conservative, I react very badly to the idea that the government should prop up prices deliberately, or try to hold prices down.

    When the stock market “crashes,” some people lose, but others win. Every transaction has a buyer and a seller. Neither is forced to participate. The current crash is great news for younger people’s retirement plans, but it’s terrible news for a lot of people who are retired now, or planning to do so in the near future.

  10. I’m a new visitor to the site
    - I’ve gotta tell you that I think getting into politics will probably choke off a lot of your business
    - didn’t like the feel of it for me, for sure.

  11. I didn’t read much of the above, but from a quick scan i got the overall impression, blah, blah blah.
    I’m a finance broker (in Australia)who came to talk about SEO and STUFF, and I just spent the last couple of hours reading your book. That’s great stuff, at least i hope it is great stuff, i wouldn’t really know, but it seems to make sense.
    I started a site about 6 months ago and it ranks well for searches like machinery lease or heavy machinery finance or crane lease etc, but I am way back on page twenty for equipment finance, or vehicle finance and rank between page three to five for boats and trucks. Any advice would be much appreciated,i thinks thats code for “why don’t you just have a look at the site of a person you don’t know and offer some free advice”, why not? i would! maybe just nice to get back to the programme. Sorry to interupt the festivities.

  12. Yeah, unfortunately people look at you like you’re crazy when you mention Ron Paul (either they’re thinking about conspiracy theorists, or “Who the hell is Ron Paul?” lol), but that’s a REAL Republican right there. Sadly he’ll never get elected to the presidency, though . . . Too much brain and not enough “style” for the general public.

  13. Funny, I was just reading an article by Ron Paul today, about what happened to the Republican party. Not sure he really fits the mold either, since he’s really a Libertarian.

  14. Dr. Paul’s a really sharp guy. Too bad the Republican Party marginalized him as some sort of Republican Kucinich. He had a great internet game, too – raised a good bit of money, and had quite the passionate following.

    As far as “the mold,” yeah, Dr. Paul is quite a bit off from today’s Republican “standard.” He’s like old school Republican, though – he’s really big on small federal government and turning power over to the states. As a congressman, he only votes yes if the legislation is specifically authorized in the Constitution (remember that thing? I barely do – 8 years is a long time!).

  15. Dude,

    No better way of stirring a pot and bringing up politics! I just love how someone’s opinion can shake feathers of others. They complain, talk about you, create a stir, offer useless business advice yet they’ll still recommend your work. I love the world of marketing and mixing politics is a great way to create some buzz, positive or negative. I highly doubt that people who disagree with you, and I’m sure there are a lot, would for a second discount your work in IM. So, this stir must be a great thing, no?

    Whether I agree with you or not, your work and dedication to the world of IM is embedded in history and you will be a legend one day in this wonderful world of Internet Marketing. Thanks for your thoughts.

  16. I’m with you when you mention that there are no fiscal conservatives left in the Republican party. When Republican’s were out of power, they told us how important it was to balance the budget. When they took power, it all a sudden didn’t matter and wasn’t important.

    As far as Arkansas Billy balancing the budget, I don’t know if I would give him credit for that. Remember, Newt and the Republican revolution. Remember all the government shutdowns where they forced him to sign their budget? This is back when Republican’s controlled Congress and were fiscally conservative. I’m not sure what happened since then.

    For along time, I identified myself as a Republican. Now, I consider myself a conservative. I no longer have a party. Who knows, maybe I am Libertarian. Like the other poster, I really like A LOT of what Ron Paul has to say.

    I think the amount of money being spent by either party would be less of a factor if the media did their job. I wouldn’t have believed you if you would have told me two years ago that the media would stand mostly silent why we would have a Presidential candidate that would belong to an openly racist and anti-American church for the last twenty years, have affiliations with Louis Farrakhan, start his political career in the living room of an admitted terrorist who bombed our pentagon and openly admits he should have done more, and refuse to release his birth certificate even though he has been ordered to by a federal court.

    Now what is going to happen? Obama is already elected and I will respect him and his office as President while disagreeing with most of what he stands for. It is bitter sweet. While disagreeing with his policies, I think it is great America has come far enough in our race relations that we as a nation could elect a black or partially black President.

    But now our U.S. Supreme Court is considering taking up the case of the birth certificate issue. Dan, surely you know he doesn’t have one that shows he was born in the U.S. He hasn’t spent $800,000 fighting this issue if he was really born in the U.S. His own grandmother states he was born in Kenya.

    What should happen? Should the Supreme Court uphold the law or not hear the issue in hopes of preventing what would be civil war?

  17. Interesting birth certificate Dan. Does your birth certificate have the doctor’s name and signature? What about a state seal? Mine does.

    http://wwwDOTisraelnationalnewsdotcom/Blogs/Message.aspx/3074

    http://polarikdotblogtownhalldotcom/

    You also said “repeating all that stuff doesn’t make it true” which implies that the other comments I made weren’t accurate either. I’m curious. Which ones? William Ayers, Jeremiah Wright, the Pentagon bombing, racist church, Louis Farrakhan, media bias etc.

    Knowing that a Presidential candidate has these type of affiliations isn’t propaganda. It’s evidence of who he is as a person.

    There is a clear bias with the media. Look at how the media reacted to Trent Lott over a simple comment he made to Strong Thurman who was a Democrat. If John McCain would have spent the last 20 years in a church that gave a lifetime achievement award to a KKK member, don’t you think the media would have made a big deal about it? Why did Obama get a pass?

    As far as the birth certificate goes, why not release it? He has spent $800,000 fighting the release of the birth certificate, not proving to everyone he has one. It should be a simple process. Allow the State of Hawaii to release it if it exists.

  18. Gonna skip right past the amazing distortions and hyperbole, and just get back to the lie you seem to have pinned your hopes on.

    http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/birthcertificate.asp

    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2008/jun/27/obamas-birth-certificate-part-ii/

    Barack Obama was born in Hawaii, he is a natural born US citizen. Courts dismiss frivolous lawsuits all the time, and the Supreme Court has no reason to consider the matter further. Facts are facts. You can’t sue to overturn the truth.

    But I hear Costa Rica is nice.

  19. Pingback: Barak Obama Birth Certificate - Is President Barak Obama A U.S. Citizen?

  20. Dan,

    As a successful businessman and a self described fiscal conservative, you can’t be happy with the direction our country is headed. It’s pretty frustrating.

    I’m not going to argue the Republican’s would have done any better. They wouldn’t have.

    What’s left for the average American who would like to see the country live within it’s means.

  21. The direction we’re headed in… yeah.

    “Defense” spending is ridiculously high, and will be hard to reduce even if the country stops waging war, because of the obligation to veterans.

    Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security will continue to grow at a ridiculous rate. The monetary system is broken. Legalized Ponzi schemes created the current financial mess. All of this requires structural changes.

    I am in favor of government spending on infrastructure for transportation, information, and energy.

    I am in favor of a simple tax-based system that creates a minimum income with strong incentives to work and produce, such as a negative income tax or a consumption tax with a rebate:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Negative_income_tax#Flat_Tax_with_Negative_Income_Tax
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FairTax

    I doubt either of those plans will ever be implemented.

  22. Dan,

    I agree with you on defense spending. Wiki shows Bush budgeted 515 billion for the DOD for 2009. You also have to add the 145 billion for the “Global War On Terror” for a total of 660 billion.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2009_United_States_federal_budget

    Obama is asking for 663 billion dollars for DOD in the 2010 budget he has submitted. This number includes overseas operations.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_United_States_federal_budget

    I’m for an exit strategy to remove our troops from Afghanistan and Iraq. I thought this was at least one thing I agreed with Obama on. However, it looks as if his plans are changed. He wants to increase the DOD budget by 3 billion and is sending additional troops to Afghanistan.

    ——–

    Amen concerning Medicad, Medicare, and SSI. Something has to be done, but no one is ready to tackle it. Instead, we are in the process of adding more freebies like “free” healthcare.

    I was all for Bush’s proposal to let individuals keep their SSI payments in private accounts. Of course the huge dip in the stock market provides and excellent argument of why that shouldn’t be the case. But, I still think I can better manage my money than the government.

    ————-
    I’m for spending on infrastructure, but the benefits of that spending are temporary. If you build a road, everyone is out of work until it needs to be rebuilt and the project can’t self sustain.

    But what if built 100 new nuclear plants across the United States? You create a project that provides clean energy, sustains itself, and produces thousands of high tech, high paying, permanent jobs. This is the type of spending I’m for.
    ————–
    I agree we need a simple tax system. I’ve never heard of a negative income tax. The concept is interesting, but my concern is it provides an incentive for some people not to work. It is wealth distribution.

    In this type of system, would someone get this negative tax in addition to or in replacement of our current freebies like welfare, food stamps, section 8 housing, etc.

    Consumption Tax -

    Also an interesting concept. My state survives only from a sales tax. We have no type of income tax. This works fine for us.

    But if you institute a 20% national sales tax to replace the income tax, what about the money I have in savings? If I have $100K in my personal savings, I’ve already paid income tax on that money. A new consumption tax means I get double taxed on that money and the buying power of my savings is reduced by the amount of the tax overnight.

    Could you somehow address those types of issues if you put a consumption tax in place?

  23. Could be something wrong with the Wiki numbers I linked to above. Just realized in 2009 the budget for interest on the national debt was 260 billion. In 2010 the budget is only 164 billion.

    Doesn’t make sense with all the debt we are adding this year unless there is a huge drop in the interest rate the US is paying, but I doubt it.

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