The closer we get to Election Day, the more the use of independent expenditures accelerates. Thanks to Republicans in Congress who voted down disclosure requirements this summer, sketchily identified corporations with undisclosed lists of donors are throwing money by the bucket at congressional campaigns.
How much has the use of independent expenditures accelerated? Consider this: from January 1, 2009 through October 11, 2010 18,583 independent expenditures to support or oppose congressional candidates were reported to the Federal Election Commission — that’s 28.6 independent expenditures a day, nothing to sneeze at. But from October 12, 2010 to October 15, 2010 (the last day for which data is available) there were 2,774 independent expenditures reported to the FEC. That’s 554.8 independent expenditures a day, an increase of 1,940%.
Is it you who’s funding all these independent expenditures? Is it anyone you know? Probably not. Politics, more than ever, is becoming a rich man’s bauble.
The vast majority of this money went to “media buys” of television advertising time. You want to stanch this corruption? Turn off your TV and think for yourself.