My give a damn is busted


ProPublica:

Two Dark Money Groups Outspending All Super PACs Combined

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.

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73 Responses to My give a damn is busted

  1. so what can the voting public do about fixing it? ideas anyone? Besides tuning it out of course. Which is what Ohioans are being forced to do. The ad onslaught makes all of us feel dirty regardless of party preference…..

    • indigogrrl1 says:

      tell me about it… I’m in VA and I’m going to turn off my local channels until it is over. It is simply ridiculous.
      The money being poured into these sleazy ads could end poverty as we know it or feed people or pay decent salaries or fix a bridge or….

    • myiq2xu says:

      There might not be a solution.

      But as WMCB has pointed out, we could do something to take away the financial incentive to pour money into campaigns. If the government’s ability to hand out money is limited that will limit the ability to reward campaign donors.

      The current system is legalized bribery.

      • WMCB says:

        Yup. And the biggest way they do it is via the tax code and the regulatory structure. A good recent example is DoddFrank, which is chock full of exceptions and waivers for crony firms like Goldman, but hits Joe Smith Local Community Bank like a ton of bricks.

        We DO need regulation and a tax code. But it needs to be simple, clear, and apply equally to all. Sure, there are some advantages to carve outs and subsidies and exceptions. Some are well-intended. But the overall effect is a system that lends itself too well to corruption and being bought. It practically begs for favor trading. Not worth it for the few subsidies/waivers etc that are good ones.

        If stopping the money coming in to buy our govt is hard because of legitimate concerns about stepping all over free political speech, then attack it from the other end: Create a govt with nothing to sell, because the laws/taxcode/regulations are equal and give NO ONE special treatment.

  2. myiq2xu says:

    Here’s a candidate for fake controversy of the year:

    Mitt Romney is Stumping In Miami at Eatery Owned By Convicted Coke Smuggler

    Today, Mitt Romney is foregoing a Miami political campaign tradition by skipping over Versailles restaurant in Little Havana. Instead, Mittens will be hobnobbing with a convicted cocaine smuggler. The Republican presidential candidate is holding an afternoon rally at Palacio de los Jugos (7085 Coral Way), which is owned by Reinaldo Bermudez, who served three years in federal prison after pleading guilty in 1999 to one count of conspiracy to distribute cocaine.

    ZOMG – Mitt Romney held an event at a juice and vegetable stand owned by an ex-felon. I also heard that the guy who mows Mitt’s lawn got a DUI 20 years ago. Don’t get me started about his mechanic.

    Only a complete idiot would fall for this.

    • Tell me again what the name of that Iraqi guy on the lam was? The one tied up with teh once? Or an easier on for teh people’s to understand.
      Obama’s little coming out party at the unrepentant terrorists house.
      Do they really want to go there?

  3. DailyPUMA says:

    “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.”

    Excellent point.

  4. carol haka says:

    Karl Rove is a pig! I wish someone would shove his white board up his ass – literally! πŸ‘Ώ

  5. DeniseVB says:

    Another Media faux pas of bias fail:

    http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2012/08/13/soledad-obrien-caught-reading-liberal-blog-during-heated-debate-romne

    Our friend Ali Akbar’s blog picked it up, and Jim Treacher is salivating over his next Soledad twitter teasing. Starting to be more fun picking on the lamestream journalists than the candidates πŸ˜€

    • carol haka says:

      When I went to see Hillary in Dallas in 2008, Soledad was sitting right in front of me. She never diverted her eyes in either direction. I think she was terrified someone was going to speak to her.

      πŸ‘Ώ

    • leslie says:

      I “commented” below about this but couldn’t remember Soledad’s name. I think it was a defense mechanism buitl in from all the negativity and lies of 2008.

    • driguana says:

      I did what might be my final full-channel run-through last night giving them all a last chance to prove some objectivity. Alas, not a one of them passed but clearly the Soledad O’Brien piece was the bottom of the brine……I just sat there shaking my head, disgusted by the low level to which we have fallen. And the saddest thing is that it appears that we cannot pull back the curtain….there is no curtain….all the hypocrisy is in full view. What to do?

      • DeniseVB says:

        Like a cartoon I saw, “I’d start a CNN boycott but I can’t find anyone who watches it” πŸ˜€

        One of our local non-political columnists was at the Norfolk VP announcement, but happened to be near Andrea Mitchell when she said “this is a bad pick for women”. The columnist wrote “really? over half the crowd were women”. Then mused, “maybe women like Andrea Mitchell ?”

        • driguana says:

          Yes….I’m having so many strange images pass in front of me these days…..it’s as though we are holding up a large mirror in front of society but all we can see is our own image….or, worse, holding up a mirror to ourselves and seeing no image!!! fitting for the media of the times!!! But still, to me, I keep asking……is there no leader, not one who can emerge at this time to be a “healer”???? You can argue that Obama is fine for his side and Romney ok for his…..but what about bringing people together rather than further divide them??? As I like to side, I am not on a side, I am on a path.

  6. carol haka says:

    OT Ryan is now in NY City for NYU. Rent is minimally $10 a sq ft. where he needs to live. Do the math. I think he will be living out of his backpack until I win the Powerball on Wednesday night.

    πŸ‘Ώ

    • DeniseVB says:

      Craigslist is your friend. Tons of students are looking for roommates, and consider Brooklyn too. BushwickBK is the new cool place for hipsters πŸ™‚

  7. leslie says:

    Last night I was “watching” CNN and he woman “Ezmeralda O’brien”
    (I honestly can’t remember her name) who was subbing for Anderson Cooper at “Keeping Them Honest”, was reading something as she was harrassing the bejeebus off the woman speaking about the Medicare “theft” by BHO. I really couldn’t believe what I was hearing.
    Someone please help remind me of the CNN woman’s name. She has a Hispanic first name and an Irish sounding surname.
    I changed the stations and never looked back. It was disgraceful.

  8. tommy says:

    Just want to make 2 points. A few months ago, there was an interview with some GE political analyst, I forget who exactly. He stated that for the GE, at half a billion, you reach a level of saturation. Spending any more is a waste of time and would likely piss of the electorate. Secondly, the unions combined GE pledge to O this year is 400 million. Sorry, I have no links right now. So don’t believe those democratic talking points bout the Republican Superpacs. Its just fear-mongering to get the dems to pony up some more cash.

  9. DeniseVB says:

    Interesting, Christie’s going to be keynote speaker at the RNCC and Cory Booker’s been shut out at the DNCC. Just some tidbits I picked up on the FB newsfeed……

    Big mistake, Booker’s a rising star in the Dem party, rather, one of the few Dems I still like. πŸ˜‰

  10. WMCB says:

    Oh, and I love how these tools never refer to groups like MoveOn as “shadowy dark money groups”. MoveOn is a 501c4 just like AFP. And I well remember how we CROWED during the 2006 midterms at how much fucking money groups like MoveOn were spending.

    Money with “secret donors” is only bad when conservatives do it, or worse they are outspending us. Buncha whiny hypocrites.

  11. yttik says:

    That 60 million in TV ads has been totally wasted on me. I haven’t seen a single one, unless I go on the internet and search for it.

    Television is kind of going out of style, partially because of the excessive commercials and partially because of the total crap they offer. Many people are now using Netflix, Hulu, the internet, and DVR’s that cut the commercials out.

  12. mcnorman says:

    They used online donations to launder money, not to raise it.

    Cues & lessons from the cartels perhaps?

  13. Mary says:

    OT: Treasury Dept very quietly announced last Friday (news dump day) that the American taxpayer will lose $25.1 BILLION in the Obama auto bailout.

    Wunderbar. /s

    • DeniseVB says:

      Oh yeah, and the media missed Obama wants to do the same thing for failing small businesses ! Unlike that EVIL Mitt Romney who just shuts them down when they fail. /s

  14. tommy says:

    Its extremely disingenuous for both sides to pretend that there is no quid pro quo. You spend 1.5-2 billion of other peoples money in the GE, and theres got to be some serious payback. The corporations, unions and rich people from both sides of the aisle are gonna expect something big if their ‘candidate’ wins. Even if those were banned, they’re gonna find some other way to do the funding, and the candidates will show those as small donor contributions from dead people. The way ahead is unclear.

  15. Mary says:

    New national Rasmussen poll of likely voters:

    50% view Ryan choice favorably; 32% unfavorably

    In Ohio, 51% favorable. Also, Romney 46, Obama 44.

    Ruh roh.

    • Lulu says:

      It is like dominoes falling. The preference cascade has begun in earnest. Democratic hysteria will hasten it rather than slow it down. It has been building under the publicly rigged and reported polling radar for months, the Supreme Ct ruling on ObamaTax hardened it and gave it impetus, and now it can’t be stopped. Obama thought he was elected to rule instead of govern. Tough shit for him and all of his punk enablers.

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