Eleven Years Later, Democrats Will Try Again to Address Citizens United's Dark Money Problem - 2021-01-21
In the competitive Democratic primary in New Mexico's Third Congressional District held last June, supporters of candidate Teresa Leger Fernandez tried to paint her opponent, former spy Valerie Plame, as an outsider compared with Leger Fernandez, who had been involved in local politics for years. In the weeks leading up to the election, they got a signal boost for their talking point from a pair of mysterious groups who had produced ads using the campaign's imagery and were putting thousands of dollars behind targeting them to voters on Facebook.
"Born and raised in Las Vegas, New Mexico, Teresa Leger Fernandez has spent more than 20 years fighting for water rights, health clinics, affordable housing, and voting rights," reads one of the spots that was sponsored on Facebook by a page with fewer than 20 likes calling itself Perise Practical.
Shortly after the Perise ad began appearing in feeds, another unknown group called Avacy Initiatives, which appears to be closely affiliated to Perise, spent $250,000 on TV ads that highlight Leger Fernandez's local roots.