Two conservative nonprofits, Crossroads GPS and Americans for Prosperity, have poured almost $60 million into TV ads to influence the presidential race so far, outgunning all super PACs put together, new spending estimates show.
These nonprofits, also known as 501(c)(4)s or c4s for their section of the tax code, don’t have to disclose their donors to the public.
The two nonprofits had outspent all other types of outside spending groups in this election cycle, including political parties, unions, trade associations and political action committees, a ProPublica analysis of data provided by Kantar Media’s Campaign Media Analysis Group, or CMAG, found.
Super PACs, which do have to report their donors, spent an estimated $55.7 million on TV ads mentioning a presidential candidate, CMAG data shows. Parties spent $22.5 million.
Crossroads GPS, or Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies, is the brainchild of GOP strategist Karl Rove, and spent an estimated $41.7 million. Americans for Prosperity, credited with helping launch the Tea Party movement, is backed in part by billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch, and spent an estimated $18.2 million.
Campaign-finance reform advocates say the spending by the two organizations highlights the role anonymous money is playing in this election, which will be the most expensive in history.
“First of all, it shows how much desire there is for secrecy among huge donors who want to be able to spend money to influence this election without leaving any fingerprints,” said Fred Wertheimer, who runs Democracy 21, a watchdog group. “Secondly, it shows that so far, there is an enormous advantage being played in this election by just two groups that are exercising undue influence in the elections.”
Once upon a time I would have been outraged by this story, but right now my give a damn is busted.
Part of the reason is the way that four years ago Barack Obama used his fundraising advantage like a club against his opponents. And don’t hand me that shit about how he raised all that money from college kids sending him their beer and choom money over the internets. They used online donations to launder money, not to raise it.
Last time around Obama raised about $750 million in the primaries and general election. He raised so much money he broke his promise to accept federal matching funds, giving him a 3-1 advantage over John McCain. This time he set a fundraising goal of a cool $1 BILLION. It doesn’t look like he’s gonna make his goal but that doesn’t change the fact that he sure has tried. I can’t remember any POTUS who spent so much time begging for money.
But that was only part of it. How much has media bias been worth to Obama? MSNBC gave up any pretense of objectivity and neutrality long ago. FOX stayed neutral during the 2008 primaries but supported the GOP during the general election.
Despite what they might claim, CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC and pretty much every newspaper and magazine not owned by Rupert Murdoch has been cheerleading for Obama since 2007. Billionaire George Soros funds a variety of online Obamafluffers. How do you measure all that?
When you really think about it these 501(c)(4)s are just a way for rich people who don’t own their own news network or newspaper to participate in politics.
Am I happy about this situation? Hell no!
But since there is very little I can do about it I figure we just might as well turn ‘em loose and let ‘em go at it. The more the merrier, with mutually assured destruction. Then maybe the voting public will finally get so sick of this shit that they’ll finally do something about fixing it.