Some Numbers on „Independent“ Spending in the Midterms

A NYTimes Editorial provides an appealing argument that a number of recent court rulings deregulating political campaigning by outside groups is pushing the US deeper into „pay-to-play politics“. And provides some interesting numbers on the game:

The total figures:

Combining both traditional and outside money, Republicans have slightly outraised Democrats, $1.64 billion to $1.59 billion, but there is more to be tallied.

The historic record:

Nearly $4 billion is likely to be spent once the final figures are in, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, far more than in the 2006 midterms, which cost $2.85 billion. It could even eclipse the $4.14 billion spent in the 2004 presidential campaign.

Outside money, amounting to some 8% of the total:

In the 2006 midterms, outside groups not affiliated with political parties spent $51.6 million; so far this year, such groups have spent $280 million. About 60 percent of that spending is from undisclosed donors, most of which has benefited Republicans. Democratic candidates raised huge amounts, but the sources for most of it were disclosed.

Finally, an idea what that could do to politics (and to some degree even to public administration and the jurisdiction):

What is clear is that the new world of unlimited spending, both open and secret, confers huge benefits on wealthy individuals, corporations and unions. In a striking example, reported by ABC News last week, Terry Forcht, a prominent Kentucky banker and nursing home executive, helped pay for a series of attack ads against Attorney General Jack Conway, the Democratic Senate candidate. Mr. Conway is prosecuting one of Mr. Forcht’s nursing homes for allegedly covering up sexual abuse.

The whole thing does make me wonder what form the Return on Investment is taking here, especially for corporate donors, who can be assumed to be rational agents…

Datum: Sonntag, 31. Oktober 2010 10:44
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