As of today, nondisclosed spending reported to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) “nearly tripled over where it stood at the same point in the 2010 election cycle,” according to research by the Center for Responsive Politics.
OpenSecrets.org notes that by “Aug. 6, 2010, groups registered as social welfare organizations, or 501(c)(4)s, as well as super PACs funded entirely by them, had reported spending $8.5 million. That figure has soared to $24.9 million in this cycle.” That’s quite a jump, no doubt helped along by the bribery made legal under the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling.
CRP’s research also indicates that the “vast majority of the spending reported by nondisclosing groups” are independent expenditures, or ads that explicitly call for the election or defeat of a particular candidate. “Issue ads,” or those communications that concentrate on a particular issue but name a federal candidate and run within 60 days of a general election, or 30 days before a primary or a national party nominating convention, have “fallen as a share of the total.”
CRP’s totals do not “include spending by super PACs that are ‘partial’ disclosers that receive a large part of their funding — but not the entirety — from non-disclosing groups.”
With nearly everyone understanding where Mitt Romney, Barack Obama and a number of other politicians stand on the issues, this simply cannot be about educating voters, or about free speech, but about businesses and groups buying access.
We are tumbling down the rabbit hole of corruption with greater velocity than ever.