Make Way For More Unlimited Campaign Spending — This Time From Liberals

The number of outside groups clamoring to fund political activities in the 2010 election made it nearly impossible to turn on the television in October and November without seeing an attack ad on your screen.  A majority of the expenditures were purchased by issue groups that were supporting Republican candidates.

Now, for 2012, Democratic groups are planning their own outside campaigns, and the airwaves are likely to be even more crowded than before.

The New York Times reports:

A group of leading Democrats, including some with close connections to the White House, are officially forming what are expected be the major outside groups to combat Republicans — and support President Obama — in the 2012 elections with help from huge donations from big money donors and corporations who will have the legal ability to stay in the shadows that Mr. Obama has previously so vocally criticized.

The groups are to be called Priorities USA and Priorities USA Action, and, as such, are modeled after the Republican groups American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS that were started with help from the strategist Karl Rove and were credited with helping greatly in the party’s takeover of the House of Representatives this year — and, it happens, with facilitating a waterfall of anonymous donations from moneyed interests in the November elections.

Thanks to the Citizens United ruling, these groups can take unlimited individual and corporate donations, in most cases with the donors remaining utterly anonymous and sheltered from any potential backlash.

Despite the outrage against these unlimited funds attack groups in the last cycle, Democrats seem sadly much more at ease with the rules now that they are in the process of creating one of their own.

It’s an irony that isn’t lost on many.  Mark Halperin at Time comments:

Last year, Obama’s White House and hard left allies launched a coordinated PR and legal assault on non-disclosing conservative groups – and now, just six months later, Obama’s own political operatives are launching the very type of groups they demagogued as “shadowy threats to democracy.”

Obama’s brazen hypocrisy, in encouraging his own operatives to start groups exactly like the ones he demagogued last year, shows how cynical this President can be when it comes to perpetuating his own power.

But Democrats are claiming this is simply something that has to occur to even the playing field heading into 2012.  Via Politico:

In emailed statements, Burton, Sweeney, an adviser Paul Begala blamed conservatives for the shift.

“While we agree that fundamental campaign finance reforms are needed, Karl Rove and the Koch brothers cannot live by one set of rules as our values and our candidates are overrun with their hundreds of millions of dollars. We will follow the rules as the Supreme Court has laid them out, but the days of the double standard are over,” said Burton.

Conservatives, of course, blamed Obama’s fundraising for compelling them to start their groups.

Obama raised huge amounts of money for his presidential campaign in 2008, forcing conservatives to raise huge amounts for outside groups to combat him, forcing progressives now to raise huge amounts for outside groups to combat that.

Meanwhile, we have nearly ten percent unemployment, a stagnant job market, people who can’t afford health care, rampant foreclosures, huge state budget deficits, and we are cutting off food stamp, welfare and Medicaid funds.

Maybe we could find something else for a group named “Priorities USA” to spend their unlimited funding on.

Photo: via Wikimedia Commons


jane richmond
jane richmond8 years ago

Limits never stopped anyone.

Marsha S.
Grover Syck8 years ago

As one poster said, we must play by the rules set down by the court.

I would like to see a $2000 per election cycle limit, and corporations totally banned from any political activity, and total disclosure.

Between the bought and paid for right wing of the supreme court, and the obstruction of the republicans in the house and senate, for now, it aint going to happen that way. We must do what we must to remove the fascist and Transylvania tea baggers from office.

I just hope we do not become what we oppose.

Ernie Miller
william Miller8 years ago

THanks time to turn off the tellie

William G.
William G8 years ago

Lies and distortions Ira L.? I don't think so. Since I must do your homework for you read this---

Look to Utah last election to see that a republican (Bob Bennett) was ousted because he grabbed too much pork so the Tea Party in Utah got rid of him.

Obama's brazen hypocrisy.... is from the article we are discussing. Scroll up and read it.

I neither lied or distorted anything and I will accept an apology as I am a forgiving person.

James B.
Jay B8 years ago

I am all for campaign spending limits. However, until the limits are made law, we must raise enough and spend enough to protect ourselves from the takeover by big corporations and rich ultra conservatives.

Karen F.
karen Friedman8 years ago

It will take a lot of big money to catch up with the Koch brothers and their cronnies.

Douglas L.
Douglas Lass8 years ago

I've been saying for more than 5 years that the only way to clean up the Democrat and Republican parties is to sue them under the anti trust and anti monoply laws that are in place! Will someone join with me in starting a lawsuit? Thanks Doug Lass

Paul B.
Paul B8 years ago

Doesn't anyone realize that with all these huge campaign contributions we are only strengthening the bond between politicians and big business. Obama plans on raising $1 billion for his campaign... yes $1 BILLION. You don't raise $1 Billion without owing lots of people favors. That only fosters the continuing reign of corruption, cronyism and bigger government, more market manipulation by the government with continued picking of winners and losers in the market... at least what will be left of our free market system.

Dems are as bad or worse than any Reps at "playing the government mafia game." And once again they are showing their true hypocritical colors, as in "it's only bad when the republicans do it." What ever happened to principles and sticking to them? If you say it is wrong, then shouldn't it be wrong... but now it's right? The old two wrongs make it right philosophy in government. I hate it and it needs to all change.

Then only way to change the system is to reduce the size and scope of government in general. If corps realize they can't BUY legislation, then they won't be so inclined to contribute so heavily. Ending favoritism will strengthen the market again by eliminating the influence of big business in government. That is the ONLY WAY to curb the problem all of us are complaining about. It's not elect Dems over Reps, or vice versa... it's change the culture of corruption, and that starts with reducing the size and scope of government.

patricia m lasek
patricia lasek8 years ago

You have to fight fire with fire and that's what the Progressives are doing. I'm glad they aren't just giving up.

Craig Newton
Craig Newton8 years ago

Don.t blame the Democrats. We are just doing what it takes within the law. The problem lies within the fact that the Righties got mad because people liked Obama better than their boy McCain in '08 and had to find a back door for huge money Nazis to get as much garbage on the air as possible. Now that the shoe is on the other foot they don't like it again and they will probably find a loophole they can slither through to let the Koch brothers spend unlimited amounts on Republican candidates.