Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The inevitable stench of third-party money

Thank you. Thank you soooooo much.

Certain themes in the presidential election campaign are going to come up again and again. Third-party money is one of them. Since the Citizens United Supreme Court case, it's basically okay for outside groups to plow as much money into campaigns as they can.

It's obvious at this point that conservatives / Republicans are going to be a lot better at this than liberals / Democrats. But these are the rules. Democrats are going to have to try to keep up, but it will be hard.

We hear now that American Crossroads, Karl Rove's super PAC, will be spending $25 million on an ad campaign this month to match what the Obama campaign has already announced.

As The Washington Post notes, the Crossroads ad buy "confirms the major role [the organization] will play in the general election," which is to step in and do what the Romney campaign can't do from time to time. In this case it will step in as Romney's campaign attempts to recover from the costly nomination race. Campaigns and super PACs aren't supposed to coordinate their efforts, but how can they not?

Conservatives like to imply that spending money in campaigns, maybe massive amounts of it, is just another way of exercising freedom. But, with this much money floating around, something has to start smelling sooner or later. Probably sooner.

(Cross-posted at Lippmann's Ghost.)

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