Aiming to bolster what are expected to be significant Republican gains in
the 2010 midterms, pro-GOP groups are planning an advertising blitz in
the final week before election day. These loosely affiliated groups,
such as the American Action Network and American Crossroads, are
invested in nearly 80 House races and have committed at least $45 million for
ads, according to a New York Times
report. The heavy political spending from relatively anonymous sources comes on the heels of the debate about how "foreign"
money and unlimited corporate spending
will shape this year's campaign. In order to manage expectations, some
Democrats (including high-profile figures Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden)
have seized the issue, complaining that "money from God knows where"
will sway election returns.
- 'Outside Money Should Be an Issue for Democrats' In a Washington Post column, E.J. Dionne
argues that Democrats "ought to be asking, even more forcefully than
they have been, what these secret donors expect for their money. You can
be sure that the benefactors will not keep their identities hidden from
the members of Congress they help elect. Only the voters will be in the
dark." The columnist, who doesn't point the blame solely at
Republicans, explains that this money has flowing under "shamelessly
loose" Federal Election Committee rules (and aided by the Supreme
Court's Citizens United verdict) so that the funds don't have to be disclosed.
- Anyone Who Thinks This Is Good 'Isn't Paying Attention' argues Washington Monthly's Steve Benen.
Even though this issue is getting "some discussion," Benen underscores
the seriousness of campaign financing by "shadowy far-right groups,"
emphasizing many of the points that E.J. Dionne
makes in his Washington Post column. While Republicans will deem
democrats to be "whining" about such funding, "dismissing this as little
more than an after-the-fact rationalization is a mistake. For one
thing, the argument happens to be true. For another, the new system is
- Democrats' Line of Attack: 'Conservatives Bought Their Way to Power' Politico's Jonathan Martin
reports that if Republicans, as expected, make significant gains in
Congress, Democratic operatives will incessantly trumpet this sentiment:
"A tough-but-manageable political climate turned much more lethal with
the infusion of tens of millions of dollars from anonymous donors
funding ads for right-leaning independent groups." Nancy Pelosi, he
notes, has already made this claim: "Everything was going great and all
of a sudden secret money from God knows where — because they won't
disclose it — is pouring in."
- These Groups Are Neither 'Anonymous' Nor 'Sinister' contends right-leaning radio host Hugh Hewitt
on his blog. Hewitt recounts attending one of these group's events: "I
was at one such gathering on Saturday in Clark, New Jersey, where
Americans for Prosperity brought together a few hundred volunteers to
rally and then disperse to work as standard volunteers for the next ten
days. This is the essence of democracy, and the left's narrative about
'unseen forces' and 'foreign money' is very amusing when anyone
considers the role of George Soros and the Colorado billionaires over
the past half-decade."
Want to add to this story? Let us know in comments
or send an email to the author at
ehayden at nationaljournal dot com.
You can share ideas for stories on the Open Wire.