Outside groups starting to spend on Indiana’s 2012 elections

Indiana’s primary elections are still a few months away, but we’re already starting to see some outside groups start buying airtime.

In Indiana’s 8th District, the American Conservative Union is up with a cookie-cutter radio ad supporting incumbent Republican Larry Bucshon. The ad, which is running in 17 Congressional districts around the country, aims to “educate constituents on the strong conservative voting records” of candidates like Bucshon.

In 2010, the American Conservative Union donated $1000 to Representative Mike Pence, among other candidates. The ACU has historically disclosed information about its donors. In the 2010 general election, the ACU reported expenditures of about $79,000. In 2008, that amount was about $40,000. (Link: FEC page for American Conservative Union)

It’s unclear how much ACU is spending on this current batch of radio ads in Indiana. Since it is more than 30 days before the primary, they aren’t required to file an Electioneering Communication notice, and they won’t have to file reports with the FEC until April.

Kristi Risk, who finished second to Bucshon in the 2010 primary, is again challenging the Newburgh doctor for the Republican nomination. The winner will likely face former state rep Dave Crooks in November.