Paul Blumenthal of the Sunlight Foundation wrote an interesting report today on the effect of the Citizens United ruling on Tuesday’s midterm elections. According to Blumenthal:
“The impact of Citizens United can be judged by simply following the money. The $126 million in undisclosed money represents more than a quarter of the total $450 million spent by outside groups. Add the $60 million spent by groups that were allowed to raise unlimited money, but still had to disclose, to the undisclosed money and the total amount of outside money made possible by the Citizens United ruling reaches $186 million or 40 percent of the total spent by outside groups.”
This 40% spend-rate is an important figure heading into the 2012 presidential election; mainly because it appears that the “unknown donors” behind this spending were successful in obtaining most of their objectives. Their confidence in “buying” our next president is pretty well confirmed.
Blumenthal’s report is especially disheartening when looking at shadow groups like Karl Rove’s American Crossroads (AC) which spent heavily, and won most of their congressional races. Without the AC funding behind the extensive negative ads in these districts, it is unlikely that many (or any) of these races would have been won.
Rove is most certainly dialing-for-dollars as we speak, knowing that his midterm successes will bring in $millions from his stable of anonymous corporate and special interest groups as we head toward twenty-twelve.
The unfortunate aspect of the Citizens United fiasco is that its full negative impact on our democracy has yet to be felt. There is no way that anything can be done before 2012 that will reverse, or mitigate, the adverse effects of anonymous special interest campaign financing. If Congress were to pass a comprehensive campaign finance law (which is unlikely in their new partisan configuration) it would most certainly be challenged in court. And, we all know where the Supreme Court stands on this issue.
Even if a disclosure bill were to be brought up in committee conference, it would never make it to the House floor for a vote. We can only hope that our mainstream media will be vigilant in their investigative reporting to expose the many unscrupulous back-room deals that lie ahead.
Otherwise, we can all look to this man to tell us who the next president of the United States will be: