The 2012 Presidential Election Will be Determined by Super PACs and the Super Rich

Our political system is under siege by large super PACs and the consultants who organize them. What’s more disturbing is that consultants are blatantly revealing how easy it is to form these PACs, raise money from wealthy contributors, and decide how to apply the money. Like it or not, large donors will have a huge impact on who is elected to office in 2012. And after the elections, the donors will be able to exert undue influence on our government.

An article in the New York Times today, titled “Super PACs Are Letting Strategists Off the Leash” unabashedly reveals the growing and frightening power of super PACs and their organizers. The latter are quoted saying how easy it is to do this business without interference from candidate spouses, advisors, etc. However, before delving into the news story, we all need to appreciate how votes are obtained in today's new world.

No doubt, TV and radio advertising are by far the most effective ways to get votes; it is also the most expensive form of political campaigning. When you read stories about how the Obama and Romney campaigns will spend upwards of $1 billion each on advertising, consider that a large percentage of these amounts will be spent by organizations, which are not controlled by the candidates. The candidates can raise as much money as they can from individuals, but the amounts are capped per person. The really big money comes from “independent” super PACs.

As the New York Times article stated, “Decisions about attack ads and negative campaigning that once weighted on candidates are now made by consultants and donors with little or no accountability.” The scary thing is that voters respond to TV and radio barrages by these groups.

The business of super PACs has made political consulting much easier. According to the article, “If you’re a top consultant today, you’d much rather have a presidential super PAC than a presidential campaign . . . no bitter strategy debates . . . only wealthy donors and consultants vying to oblige them.”

Is it then possible that a handful of political consultants and their benefactors will decide who is elected our next president? Yes, absolutely. SCOTUS has changed our electoral process permanently unless the Constitution (or the makeup of the court) is changed. We are under siege, and the candidates who raise the most money will likely be our leaders.

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Sal Bommarito

I spend most of my time writing a screenplay based on three of my published novels.

MORE FROM

Sam Brownback: 3 things to know about Trump’s nominee for ambassador-at-large for religious freedom

Brownback was a key sponsor of the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998, which created the job he's now nominated for.

Hundreds rally in Times Square to protest Donald Trump’s transgender military ban

“I’m out here to support my trans brothers and sisters who have been serving our military for years and years and years."

Several Republicans are strongly denouncing Trump’s military transgender ban

“Anybody who wants to serve in the military should serve in the military. I don’t agree with the president.”

Worried Trump might pardon himself? Blame Alexander Hamilton.

Hamilton might not have been "thinkin' past tomorrow" when he pushed for broad executive privileges.

Harry Truman desegregated the military 69 years ago. Today, Trump banned transgender troops.

Truman wanted to end discrimination in the military "as rapidly as possible."

Here is a timeline of Donald Trump’s relationship with Jeff Sessions

Trump continued his Twitter attacks on Sessions Wednesday — reportedly while the embattled attorney general was in the White House.

Sam Brownback: 3 things to know about Trump’s nominee for ambassador-at-large for religious freedom

Brownback was a key sponsor of the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998, which created the job he's now nominated for.

Hundreds rally in Times Square to protest Donald Trump’s transgender military ban

“I’m out here to support my trans brothers and sisters who have been serving our military for years and years and years."

Several Republicans are strongly denouncing Trump’s military transgender ban

“Anybody who wants to serve in the military should serve in the military. I don’t agree with the president.”

Worried Trump might pardon himself? Blame Alexander Hamilton.

Hamilton might not have been "thinkin' past tomorrow" when he pushed for broad executive privileges.

Harry Truman desegregated the military 69 years ago. Today, Trump banned transgender troops.

Truman wanted to end discrimination in the military "as rapidly as possible."

Here is a timeline of Donald Trump’s relationship with Jeff Sessions

Trump continued his Twitter attacks on Sessions Wednesday — reportedly while the embattled attorney general was in the White House.