Walker’s Flood of Money Water-Boarded Barrett

From “How Walker Won,” William Finnegan, The New Yorker:

“But the ocean of campaign money that drowned Wisconsin was definitely something new.  More than sixty-three million dollars poured in….  According to the Center for Public Integrity, Walker outspent Barrett by seven and a half to one.  Barrett raised four million dollars in campaign donations, roughly a million of that from out of state.  Walker, meanwhile, raised more than thirty million, with twenty million of that from out of state.  Four of Walker’s top seven donors were out-of-state billionaires.  Many of these overfed cats are becoming familiar figures in our democracy:  Sheldon Adelson, the anti-union casino magnate; the brothers Koch, who bow to no man in their anti-unionism.

“The state-level equivalent of SuperPACs slopped another thirty million into the mix, three-quarters of that to Walker, nearly all of it from out of state.  The Walker campaign had so much cash, it seemed drunk.  After saturating the airwaves and wallpapering America’s dairyland with ad buys, it started running commercials on Madison’s favorite left-wing radio station, apparently just to show that it could.”  Emphasis added.

Now the GOP is emboldened, thinking it can do for Mitt what it did for Walker.  Wake up, Chicago, they’re coming for you.

The Super PACmen Are Gobbling Up Our Campaign Finance Laws

With the rise of the Super PACs as virtual parallel campaign structures, the $2500 individual contribution limit in presidential campaigns has become meaningless.

Look at Mitt Romney’s Super PAC, Restore Our Future [the name makes no sense, btw], which has raised about $30 million this year, and not from people going online to give $25 or $50.  They got $1 million from a former Bain executive, Edward Conard, and another $1 million from J. W. Marriott, Jr., fellow Mormon and chairman of the eponymous hotel chain.  The $2500 limit was designed to make such contributions, and the influence they would buy, impossible.

As for the PACs being forbidden to coordinate with the campaigns, they don’t have to because they know exactly what the candidate wants and needs from them.  In Mitt’s case his official campaign runs positive ads, while the PAC runs all the negative ones.  The fundraiser for Romney’s PAC, Steve Roche, just months ago was the chief finance guy at the official campaign.  The PAC is filled with other former campaign people, like the political director from the 2008 campaign, Carl Forti, and the former chief counsel, Charles Spies, as well as ad maker Larry McCarthy, who did the Willie Horton ad against Michael Dukakis.*

Mitt keeps saying that President Obama is ruining this country.  No, the million-dollar contributions are.

*See “PAC Ads Rip at Gingrich As Romney Stands Clear,” by Nicholas Confessore and Jim Rutenberg, NYT