When the information on just how lucrative our elections are for the ad placement agents and strategists who manage them, I suspect this anger will go through the roof. And it should, on both sides. If the arms race continues to bulk up, we may have to add “electoral” to the familiar line about the military-industrial complex.
|By: David Dayen Monday November 12, 2012 1:35 pm|
|By: David Dayen Wednesday November 7, 2012 12:50 pm|
The more important point is that dark money does work. It works in the House. SuperPACs and independent expenditure groups wasted historic amounts of money running into a demographic brick wall at the national level. Even at the statewide level, Democrats could withstand the attacks. But in the House, late money that poured into a discrete number of seats had a real impact. Winnable seats turned sour, even in places where Democrats did well.
|By: David Dayen Tuesday November 6, 2012 12:30 pm|
One big question in the aftermath of this election will be whether the power of big money will be seen as impotent. We’ve heard these stories of SuperPAC money migrating into safe red and blue states at the end of the election because there was literally no time left on the air in the swing states. Billions – yes, billions – of dollars were spent on TV advertising, with no discernible impact.
|By: David Dayen Monday November 5, 2012 2:15 pm|
California’s Fair Political Practices Commission forced a mysterious $11 million donor to two ballot measures to reveal its secret funding sources today, and the result showed how most of these independent expenditure groups work, mostly through money laundering:
|By: David Dayen Thursday November 1, 2012 10:37 am|
The new report that campaign spending in the 2012 cycle will reach $6 billion has come as depressing news to many despairing over the purchasing of our democracy. Some have held out hope that the sheer numbers will provide a wake-up call to all Americans that something must be done to take this democracy back. I think that’s highly unlikely.
|By: David Dayen Thursday September 27, 2012 8:15 am|
Funny how campaign finance is coming back to bite the independent expenditure campaigns in the rear. But this only works when you have a free spending candidate on the other side. That’s usually not the case in downballot races, where resources are more constrained. A Democratic House candidate up against a SuperPAC onslaught won’t fare as well as a well-heeled Obama campaign.
|By: David Dayen Wednesday September 26, 2012 9:45 am|
Yesterday was the final day that Todd Akin could take himself off the Missouri Senate ballot. But I think the national Republicans who desperately wanted this to happen gave up on the idea long ago. Clearly Akin marches to his own beat, and wouldn’t be swayed even by the cutoff of funds. Some conservative movement members have slowly been inching their way back into the race, with Newt Gingrich campaigning with Akin this week, and Jim DeMint’s PAC likely to send him some money.
|By: David Dayen Wednesday September 26, 2012 9:10 am|
Justin Lamar Sternad has admitted to the FBI what was obvious all along – that he was indeed a fake candidate put up by Rep. David Rivera with seed money to take down his Democratic challenger, Joe Garcia.
|By: David Dayen Saturday September 22, 2012 4:00 pm|
I’ve mentioned the saga of Rep. David Rivera once before. He’s the South Florida Republican Congressman who paid for mailers for a fake Democratic “candidate” in the hopes that he could either drive up the negatives or defeat his likely opponent, Joe Garcia. Investigators, including the FBI, have already discovered a bounty of evidence showing Rivera’s fingerprints all over the mailers of the fake candidate, who makes a modest income but nonetheless allegedly self-funded his campaign with tens of thousands of dollars. He never reported the campaign expenditures to the FEC. And the invoices for the mailers were literally sent to Rivera with his name on them. Campaign finance laws were probably broken, in addition to conspiracy and possibly money laundering.
There have been developments in the case.
|By: David Dayen Wednesday September 19, 2012 6:00 pm|
When Mitt Romney started raising serious money for his Presidential run throughout the summer, there was one hitch. He was getting checks from a lot of big money donors that were back-loaded. The donors maxed out for the primary election and the general election, which meant half of their money couldn’t get spent until he accepted the nomination at the end of August. Suddenly, the Romney campaign faced a cash crunch for the remainder of the “primary.” They had a lot of money in their bank account, but a substantial amount of it could not be spent until a set date. So they did what any upstanding financial wizard would do – they borrowed against the money in the bank.