Sunday, April 8, 2012

Who is Spending Too Much Now? 2012 Presidential Campaign and How Super PACs Are Running the Show

Gingrich $4.5 in debt!

It seems like the Republican party is constantly bashing Democrats for "spending too much." Ironically enough, Newt Gingrich's campaign has spent about $4.5 million more than it has raised! Trying to keep up with Romney has proved disastrous for Gingrich (who also has almost no chance of winning). Who is spending too much now, Newt? Not too responsible, eh?

Super PACs - The New Craze

Interestingly enough, Obama was the first presidential nominee to forego public funding for the general election cycle, which created a huge advantage in his campaign against John McCain in 2008. Neither Obama nor Romney will take out the public fund this fall. If they did, it would limit each of their expenditures to about $91.2 million.

Awesome political cartoon by Dave Granlund

Super PACs (political action committees) are where the money is at. These groups basically exist as a legal means for corporations and trade unions to make donations to candidates. They are not legally permitted to do this directly. Super PACs can raise and spend unlimited amounts of money to support or oppose political candidates! As with almost anything that is "unlimited," things can get out of control...

Right now, President Obama's fundraising is not nearly where it was in 2008. Of the top 10 super PACs backing presidential candidates, 9 are Republican and have raised a combined $116 million! This is some serious money, people! Priorities USA Action (the only Democratic Super PAC) took in only $6.5 million. That's a huge discrepancy in funding. Democrats are having a really hard time adjusting to this super PAC era. It seems that a lot of people underestimate Romney as a potential threat to President Obama. This kind of thinking is dangerous, and if you want to win an election, you gotta be ready to fight until the end! It also does not help that we are in a recession...

I don't know about all of you, but I am not at all comfortable with the idea of unlimited amounts of money being spent on campaigns. This inevitably leads to corruption. There is a reason why there are limits on contributions to federal candidates, and I do not believe that using super PACs to basically get rid of this limit is fair or wise.

What do you think? Do you think super PACs should be made illegal?


  1. Honestly, I am totally confused/ uninformed on what super PACS are and how many of the candidates get their funding, but I do believe their should be caps on spending. Look at Romney, he is more wealthy than all the noms, and he happens to be more or less in the lead to get his name on the ticket. Of course he's going to be criticized for it because of the correlation between his pocket and the amount of ads out there for him. A month ago, I was seeing his face on advertisements everywhere online. Even websites that I would not expect to see a presidential nominee ad on. What is the purpose of that?!

    The fact that these elections come down to hundreds of millions of dollars being spent towards "gaining votes" is just ridiculous imo. 116 million dollars that could be going to more important issues!

    What you said about Romney being a threat, I think the only reason he is such a threat is because of how much he is worth. It is not even about his ideas anymore (which are not even good ideas!), but how many people respect him as a businessman and they assume he can fix our deficit. The focus in on money, and people are forgetting all the other issues like foreign policy, women's rights, gay rights, etc... Money is on everyone's mind!!!

    1. PACs are super sketchy...anybody can pretty much give unlimited money to campaigns..needless to say the right wingers are really taking advantage of all the money they can pile up! Money really is on everyone's mind these days. Hope people can take more than money into account when they go to the polls...Thanks for your comment and sorry for the delayed response!

  2. It is one thing to have an advantage of intellect or personality. But when an election can be bought with advertisements irrespective of the candidate's policy stance then something is wrong with the system. It needs fixing. But change is not going to be easy with the skewed advantage of a party that inherently concentrates its wealth and success among a few individuals. But in the meantime some wealthy liberals and progressives are banding together to make a difference. Fighting fire with fire is the best chance liberals have at the moment. So be it.

    Good luck on the Boards!