The 2012 election is unlike any other when it comes to campaign funding. As a result of two Supreme Court rulings in 2010, unlimited contributions by corporations and unions can be made to the presidential campaign. Where does this money go? It goes to super PACs (political action committees). These loosened restrictions allow corporations, unions, and advocacy groups to have the ability to raise and spend unlimited amounts of money to advocate or oppose hot topic issues. Essentially, these groups help spread their candidate’s message to the public better than if the candidate were to act alone.
The catch? The law prohibits a super PAC from coordinating its efforts with a candidate’s campaign. However, it can be difficult to regulate if these donors are really abiding by the law or not. In The Caucus blog on the New York Times website, Senator Charles E. Schumer argues that super PAC funding is a “disaster for our democracy” and is a “poison corroding the deep roots of our democracy.” Perhaps this poison that Schumer is referring to is how the people who are donating these large sums of money do not have to disclose their identities. Their reputations are not at stake, no matter how much money they give or how they choose to support their candidate.
According to Ruth Marcus of the Washington Post, super PACs are troublesome for several reasons. Many people have associated super PACs as being the “evil twin” of campaigns because they are not accountable to voters since there are no identity disclosure laws. A great deal of negative and brutal ads have surfaced, attacking the candidate’s opposition. Essentially, super PACs have done the dirty work for the candidates because no reputation is at stake.
While I’m no expert in the world of politics, this Supreme Court ruling creating super PACs makes me question the ethics behind it. I’m sure the funding has been used in positive ways, but the more I read about the subject, the more I hear about all of the negativity associated with it. If someone has something negative to say, don’t hide behind the no disclosure aspect of it. Play nice.