Sun Apr 29, 2012, 05:56 PM
MindMover (4,978 posts)
A Senator Fights Back
Last edited Mon Apr 30, 2012, 02:35 PM - Edit history (1)
It is dangerous to challenge the funnel cloud of corporate and right-wing political advertising this year, but Senator Claire McCaskill, Democrat of Missouri, has decided to fight back. She is running commercials that talk directly about the ads trying to prevent her re-election.
“They’re not from around here, spending millions to attack and attack,” said one of her recent commercials, showing clips from the opposing ads that have become ubiquitous in her state. “But what they’re doing to Claire McCaskill is nothing compared to what their special-interest agenda will do to you.”
It will be an uphill fight. Republican interest groups are outspending Ms. McCaskill and other Missouri Democrats by a 7-to-1 ratio; Ms. McCaskill herself is being outspent by 3 to 1. Though she has raised nearly $10 million, the amount could be dwarfed by the unlimited money at the disposal of Republican-oriented groups.
Once again, as in 2010, Congressional races will be the elections most affected by unregulated slush-fund money. Though “super PACs” and secretive independent groups will be spending hundreds of millions on the presidential race, it is at the Congressional level where big money can have the most impact. Many candidates, particularly in smaller states, cannot compete with independent groups, allowing individual wealthy donors to have an oversized influence on the future of the House or the Senate.
Already, conservative interest groups have spent more than $17 million on televised attack ads in state and local races, and Jeremy Peters of The Times recently reported that they plan to spend more than $100 million by November. Total outside spending on Congressional races this year is likely to exceed the $300 million level of 2010.
Poll ?: Is Justice Stevens as right today as he was in 2010 ?
Supreme Court Justice Stevens concluded his dissent of Citizens United:
At bottom, the Court's opinion is thus a rejection of the common sense of the American people, who have recognized a need to prevent corporations from undermining self government since the founding, and who have fought against the distinctive corrupting potential of corporate electioneering since the days of Theodore Roosevelt. It is a strange time to repudiate that common sense. While American democracy is imperfect, few outside the majority of this Court would have thought its flaws included a dearth of corporate money in politics.
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