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It was only a matter of time before independent groups began inundating local voters with campaign ads. | Spending by these groups can be difficult to track, since some have to report to the Federal Elections Commission, but others do not. Last month, several independent political committees did report their spending on local races, however. | The National Federation of Independent Businesses reported spending approximately $329,800 on ads supporting Republican Congressional candidate Maggie Brooks. Brooks is challenging incumbent Democrat Louise Slaughter in the 25th District, and the GOP-aligned NFIB has endorsed Brooks. | In the neighboring Congressional district race, Republican Chris Collins is challenging Democratic incumbent Kathy Hochul. House Majority PAC, a Democratic SuperPAC, spent $86,000 on producing media and airing ads against Collins. The National Republican Congressional Committee reported spending approximately $163,000 for survey research and media against Hochul. | Independent expenditures are a big part of the money aspect of politics. The 2011 special election in New York's 26th Congressional District, which Hochul won, is a good example. The Sunlight Foundation says that non-candidate spending in that race totaled approximately $2.4 million.

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