How Damaging Was The SCOTUS Campaign Finance Decision?
Well, as was mentioned when it happened, now unlimited, anonymous money can flow into the election cycle via what are now being dubbed “Super PACs”, and these entities can run advertising and say pretty much whatever they want.
These political action committees can take unlimited company, union and individual donations and explicitly urge voters to support or oppose candidates, unlike ordinary PACs and nonprofit groups. Like other PACs, they must register with the Federal Election Commission and disclose donors.
“They can say whatever they want politically in the advertising,” said Michael Toner, a former FEC chairman who’s among the lawyers dubbing them super PACs. “It’s very liberating.”
Who’s behind one of the biggest two? None other than The Architect himself…
American Crossroads, a group advised by Rove, a top adviser to former President George W. Bush, said it has raised more than $17 million. That includes $1 million from Dixie Rice Agricultural Corp., a company led by Harold Simmons, also the chairman of Dallas-based Titanium Metals Corp. A trust controlled by Jerrold Perenchio, former chairman of New York- based Univision Communications Inc., also gave $1 million.
That may be just the beginning. American Crossroads also has an issue-advocacy group that doesn’t have to disclose donors, and it won’t say how much of the $52 million it plans to raise in this campaign will go toward that effort. Other groups aren’t even registering as PACs and will be able to spend millions on ads without disclosing their contributors as long as they steer clear of expressly advocating for or against a candidate.
But don’t feel bad for Dems. They’re in the money game too…
Of the 25 super PACS, at least nine lean Republican and 10 Democratic. There may also be dozens more that haven’t formally outlined their plans to the FEC, said Mary Brandenberger, an agency spokeswoman.
The super PACs include new units of established groups such as the Club for Growth, which supports lower taxes and favors Republicans, and the League of Conservation Voters, which primarily backs Democrats.
Without serious campaign finance reform, we’ll never get to a place where Dems and Repubs can cooperate. It’ll be one attack after another put on by these shadowy groups that candidates use time and time again.
More money, more problems. That’s all there is to it.