A new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds 69% of all Americans say super PACs, a fundraising vehicle that allows wealthy donors to make unlimited donations in support of a particular candidate or party, should be banned. Just 25% said they should remain legal.
A National Journal analysis of January’s campaign-disclosure filings reveals that 25% of all the money raised by Super PACs came from just five donors.
“I’m against very wealthy people attempting to or influencing
elections. But as long as it’s doable I’m going to do it.
Because I know that guys like Soros have been doing it for years, if not
— Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, in an interview with Forbes, suggesting he might spend up to $100 million on the presidential election.
Politico: “Here’s how it works: under new federal rules, a traditional PAC and super PAC may operate under one roof. These hybrid operations can raise and spend unlimited amounts of cash to promote or oppose candidates, as any super PAC can, while simultaneously giving limited amounts of money directly to campaigns and committees, like a traditional political action committee. Already, 11 of these hybrids have emerged, representing a range of political ideologies and purposes.”
It’s been two years since the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision which unleashed millions of dollars of ads financed not by candidates but by groups with innocuous names claiming no relationship to the candidates.
Norm Ornstein: “By giving corporations free rein to meddle in politics without any accountability required, just like in the robber baron days, and by defining money as speech, the court dealt a body blow to American democracy. Candidates no longer can focus simply on raising money for their campaigns against other candidates. Because corporations have almost unlimited sums they can put in with no notice, candidates have to raise protection money in advance just in case such a campaign is waged against them.”
“And in many cases, as I have written before, they will pay for protection by quietly giving companies or other interests what they want legislatively to avoid a multimillion-dollar slime campaign against them. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, who wrote the majority opinion in Citizens United, said there could be no corruption in independent spending. What planet does he live on?”
A federal judge has set the trial of John
Edwards to begin January 30, a week earlier than the date prosecutors and
defense lawyers had sought, the AP reports.
Stephen Colbert tries to make the complex world of campaign finance and Super PACs a little more understandable and definitely more entertaining.
Campaign finance expert Rick Hasen says Colbert has “done more to educate the general public about the troublesome nature of super PACs than anyone else in the media or academia.”