Yesterday was a big day for outside expenditures in Ventura County's 26th Congressional District -- which now ranks eighth nationally in the amount of independent expenditures made so far to influence U.S. House races in 2012, with $658,874 having been spent so far.
That total, by the way, excludes the involvement of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Because it is a party committee, it will not have to report its expenditures until later. Based on the number of mailers it has sent opposing independent Linda Parks, it's likely that it has spent at least $150,000 on the race.
The Democrats' House Majority PAC kicked in another $77,000 for a mailer opposing Parks and more TV advertising in support of Democrat Julia Brownley. The Center for Responsive Politics reports that brings the super PAC's total to $417,335 in the 26th District primary.
Brownley also picked up support from a $100,000 expenditure by the League of Conservation Voters, although the report from the Federal Elections Commission is less than specific on how the money was used: "support for IE (independent expenditure) activity -- mailers & phone calls."
Perhaps the most interesting development, however, was the emergence of an outside group calling itself icPurple. The group, founded by billionaire philanthropist Ted Waitt, the co-founder of Gateway, Inc.,announced Friday it will be supporting independent candidates, including Parks and San Diego mayoral candidate Nathan Fletcher.
Its FEC report shows a $23,687 expense for "online video production costs" in support of Parks. The online video is the same for Fletcher and Parks, with only the tag line at the end changed. It's unclear whether the video will be used for television advertising, although the fact that it's exactly 30 seconds long suggests it could be.