The money stakes in the 2012 presidential election got even bigger as conservative billionaires Charles and David Koch and about 250 to 300 other individuals pledged approximately $100 million towards the effort to defeat President Obama.
The pledge happened at a private three-day retreat of wealthy donors, Republican politicians and conservative activists. This is the ninth straight year the Koch’s have hosted the conference which last year was the target of protests and arrests. But this year’s meeting went off without hardly a mention in the media, let alone challenge.
Now obviously these donors are governed by limits on how much they can individually donate to a political candidate, which means this money will undoubtedly be funneled into SuperPACS to avoid the contribution and disclosure requirements. That also means this money will go to buy advertising that has no accountability to a particular candidate nor to any regulatory body for the truth of the matters stated.
This dark money will be used for Swift Boat style attacks on President Obama and do nothing to advance any substantive debate and the merits of the Obama administration as compared to his challenger. These ads don’t make voters more informed, they make them less. And on purpose.
The Koch brothers have been the major donors behind the Tea Party movement and efforts to discredit the science around man-made global warming because laws designed to curb greenhouse admissions, for example, threaten their bottom line. And as this latest pledge of dark money shows, nothing, not even the state of our democracy, is as important to the Koch brothers as their bottom line.
Photo from tracy o via flickr.