Citizen United vs. Fed. Elec.Comm. - the effect on the 2010 mid-term elections.
Karl Rove- American Crossroads
The money raising success of the Karl Rove inspired American Crossroads and the GOP - allied attack led by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has stunned opponnents and it own authors. The estimated $3.5 million expected to be spent on this year's campaigning sets a record for midterm elections.
This funding comes from undisclosed donors helped by the new Supreme Court ruling: Citizen United v. Federal Election Commission.
The GOP plan Rove, Gillespie and Law created was ambitious. The conservative movements biggest donors would have to unite under one economic message. They would have to contribute $$ that were equal or that would exceed the last presidential election.
This election has emphasized the use of non-profit tax-exempt organizations in politics. This trend in not new, however, the size of the spending is! Because of the new Supreme court ruling they do not have to reveal their donors. The Democrats and Obama have objected to this secrecy.
Republican leaning groups have far outpaced Democratic leaning organizations. American Crossroads and its affiliate Crossroads Grassroot Policy Strategies surpassed their $65 million goal on October 25th 2010 and have spent $30 million on 14 Senate and 18 House races.The Chamber of Commerce has spent $34 million in 58 races. The American Action Network that shares the same 12th floor office space with American Crossroads in D.C., has spent $22.7 million.
from Associated Press : Big money : Outside groups spending for Republicans
Public Citizen reports
of the 176.1 million spent be outside groups using large, often undisclosed contributions only 10 groups are responsible for the bulk of the spending.
59.9 % of the money comes from undisclosed sources. While nearly two-thirds of the disclosed funds come from just 0.12% of the contributors.
This is the first election to be held in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Citizen United v. Federal Election Commission, which permitted corporations, unions and organizations they fund to spend unlimited money to influence elections.
The following facts are from Public Citizens Stealth PAC's database:
1. $176.1 million collected - $114.6 million or 65%, was spent by only 10 groups.
2. Money spent by the Republicans $79.4 million
Democrats $28.5 million
3. Five groups have spent money on more that 35 races each. Eleven groups have spent money on 20 races each.
4. Eighty groups have not disclosed any information about sources of their money. Only 70.7 million of the spending - just 40% - has come from disclosed sources.
Thirty groups have entered the fray for the first time in 2010 in the past two weeks. For the names of these groups and the amounts they have collected and are spending , please see www. citizen.org/stealthpacs
"Non-party groups that have dominated the mid-term campaign are about to surpass national parties in total reportable spending this Mid-term elections " according to the Federal Election Commission.
" The milestone would mark an end to the supremacy of political parties in campaign spending compared to outside groups, possibly for the first time in history."
Finally, U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the labor union American Federation of State and Municipal Employees have spent $205 million through October 22, 2010 nearly surpassing total spending by both parties in 2008.
Can an election law serve the good of all the citizens of our country by hiding the sources of campaign financing from the wealthiest sector of our society - our corporations and private interest groups? Haven't these groups exerted enough power in the past with their exorbitant fees paid to their lobbyists and finance directors? Did anyone else get that sickening feeling in their gut when they first heard of this ruling? Is the little man or the working class supported by this ruling? Much more attention and outrage from the American public should be brought to this decision. We have already had one presidential election swayed by the money of the few. It looks to me like our country has just given up the integrity of their elections - where each man, or woman's vote is equal the the next man's vote , regardless of income or power . Will this equality continue when huge , private corporations with bottomless pits of money now influence each election ?