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The Trail

$333 per second? Those last-minute political ads are gonna cost you.

  • Author: Kyle Hopkins
  • Updated: November 2, 2018
  • Published November 2, 2018

With the rise of independent expenditure groups spending millions to influence Alaska voters, the final weeks before the election represent a gold rush for ad sellers.

The FCC requires broadcasters to charge federal candidates the "lowest unit charge" for political commercials. But independent expenditure groups like the coalitions fighting over Ballot Measure 1 and the governor's race aren't so lucky. A review of federal records shows that local television stations are charging so-called IE groups as much as 15 to 20 times more than they are candidates for the same air time during the same TV shows.

One commercial slated for Sunday night football cost $10,000 for a group funded by the Democratic Governors Association and opposing Republican governor candidate Mike Dunleavy.