Big Media Making Bundles From 2012's Campaign Finance Excesses
One reason that meaningful campaign finance reform never seems to take hold is because the nation's political culture benefits from the current system, even if the health of American elections and ensuing governance spirals downward. Two new reports shine a light on the current face of this reality, which is increasingly being compared to the flood of secretive campaign cash that helped re-elect Richard Nixon in 1972.
The first comes from the Center for Responsive Politics' OpenSecrets.org website and tracks the outside money raised in 2012. This is the million-dollar and larger checks that went to super PACs in the Republican presidential primaries, and now is fueling the negative ads from political non-profits that are almost all on the GOP side of the aisle. As election law blogger and professor Rick Hasen explained this winter, this money trail takes one back to the U.S. Supreme Court's Citizens United decision, subsequent lower court rulings, and a hopelessly grid-locked and politically inept Federal Election Commission.
Where is all the political mega-bucks going in 2012? The Huffington Post has this new report on the recipients: political consultants who craft the attack ads filling the airwaves in swing states, and the broadcast networks that are profiting mightily in an otherwise sluggish economy. When the bottom lines are seizing power and running to the bank, is it any wonder that 2012 is poised to hit new lows for deviant campaigning and distorting democracy?