Anti-incumbent anger and "tea party" conservatives may have set the tone for this year's midterm elections, but it was mostly experienced political operatives -- not fervent newcomers -- who managed
the money. While billions were spent on campaign ads and other efforts to gin up discontent with Washington, much of the spending was handled by veteran political consultants at a few longtime media
firms - many in Washington.
An analysis of campaign finance records and data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics found that 15 firms raked in more than $400 million just
from the candidates, party committees and outside groups that advertised in federal elections. Much of that money was used to purchase airtime on local television stations, the firms said, noting that
media buyers typically earn a small percentage as a commission or fee.
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