Super PACs: Just the Latest Version of an Old Political Money Game

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history of political corruption and financial backingsOver the past few weeks, the final four Republican presidential hopefuls have been eclipsed in the political spotlight by an even more powerful group: their financial backers.

Other than a few big spenders such as George Soros and the Brothers Koch, major political donors have flown under the radar for the last few years. However, the tidal wave of money set off by the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision has pulled the curtain back from the likes of Sheldon Adelson, Foster Friess, Peter Thiel, Bruce Kovner, and other deep-pocketed donors who may well be choosing our next president.

But while pundits and analysts have been focusing on the growth of super PACs -- and the massive power of the mega-rich men who fund them -- many have ignored the fact that our current big business-sponsored election probably isn't the most egregious example of election-buying in American history. In many ways, in fact, this heavy influence of money on politics is actually a return to normalcy.




Bruce Watson is a senior features writer for DailyFinance. You can reach him by e-mail at bruce.watson@teamaol.com, or follow him on Twitter at @bruce1971.


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Wayne Bradshaw

The City Council is examining a request to open a Gucci Outlet Store and retail shop at 11502 Middlebelt in the Livonia Crossroads shopping center on the southeast corner of Plymouth and Middlebelt roads.The council heard at a study session on Monday from Taylor Bond, president of Children's Orchard, who wants to open a 7,500-square-foot Gucci Outlets store at the site of the former Family Buggy restaurant, which was closed several years ago.

May 06 2012 at 12:03 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jesse A. Rieber

We now have one dollar one vote rather than one man one vote. Superpacs and the decisions that backed them have made the U.S. Congress the biggest ***** House in America. There is no reason to vote since the individual's vote is a meaningless sham welcome to Dumbmockracy. The only question to ask of those running for Congress is "which corporations are your a ***** for"?

February 28 2012 at 7:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
sryanmichael2

Screw the liberals.

February 28 2012 at 12:35 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
teds623

The days that boehner's face was all over the news during the debt talks, was when I realized the truth behind the repub party and made that call to change my party affiliation. I will NEVER vote for anyone gop for the rest of my life. I saw the disrespect boehner had for women, trying to cancel planned parenthood. He wanted to to do away with planned parenthood because he cited abortions, which planned parenthood never has done! So the gop/tparty's ignorance was spotlighted along with their inability to care about human rights. I am a professional and most of my friends are. The "gop" is no longer part of our lives.

February 27 2012 at 8:13 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to teds623's comment
misskimari

Liar , planned parenthood undeed does abortions ! Have benn for many decades . Humane rights you preach ? Yes you are a left wing poster child , all the righst go to YOU , not the victim ( baby )

February 28 2012 at 2:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
rrss2lwb

THE most corrupt election... Gee, I thought that was in 2000 when shrub#43 stole the election from Gore? Right then Florida should have joined the Conch Republic (Key West) and seceeded from the Union, again!

February 27 2012 at 8:07 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to rrss2lwb's comment
misskimari

Oh please , you sound like a fresh water conk ":

February 28 2012 at 2:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
rrss2lwb

THE most corrupt election... Gee, I thought that was in 2000 when shrub#43 stole the election from Gore? Right then Florida should have joined the Conch Republic (Key West) and seceeded from the Union, again!

February 27 2012 at 8:06 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
jimmimar

I agree with minkrot 100%. This article is so biased that it's about to roll off the table. It's not the only time that AOL has presented the liberal side in glowing light and the conservative side in darkness. I'm rethinking my membership in AOL. At least, be fair.

February 27 2012 at 8:03 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to jimmimar's comment
JOHNYKMWA

The conservative side is generally in darkness anyway.

February 27 2012 at 10:08 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
joycejoe17

blame the government for these crazy gas prices. the stations are raising the price twice daily!!!!!!!!!!

February 27 2012 at 7:41 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
dapalmlv

This mess is brought to you my the total idiot minds on the SUPREME COURT! This will eventually ruin our country and political system forever..................................Most money wins! Guess who benefits from that?

February 27 2012 at 7:37 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to dapalmlv's comment
JOHNYKMWA

Let me guess...the republicants?

February 27 2012 at 10:09 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
minkrot

What a one-sided article. Very embarrassing for the author Bruce Watson. I didn't read about the Unions taking money from their members to give only to Democrat candidates. The Teachers' Union, the AFSCME (Federal, State, and Local Employees union), UAW, etc., etc... And is there a more socialist, anti-American, Democrat contributor than George Soros? And look at all of the leftist Major Media outlets. In return the lefties offer up Fox News as a biased source of news. Fox News, who actually presents both sides of political subjects.

February 27 2012 at 7:33 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply