Up | November 04, 2012
>>> all right. on tuesday night, we will likely have the rilts of the first presidential campaign to take place in the post citizens united era. the supreme court handed down their ruling about how the decision would work mostly visions of how the massive influx of spending by corporations would corrode our politics. some of those predictions have come true and others have not. for example, we have not yet seen the direct spending from corporate treasuries that many predicted when the ruling came down. what citizens united has done is unleash a class of megadonors. for example, 67% of all super pac donations have come from 209 donors giving $500,000 or more. those kind of donations is one of the reason this is the most expensive campaign iny, $6 billion. there's the growth in dark money, which i think is the most important story. funnel through what are known as issue advocate groups. they do not have to release the name of donors. it's lopsided in support for republicans. this week, the romney campaign and allies spent $96.4 million on ads, more than double obama. however, one prediction that has largely not come true is the prediction by the obama campaign , once the numbers tally, it would be vastly outspent by republican opponents.
>> the first president to be outspent, not because of what romney is raising, but the super pacs . when you have people so active in wisconsin saying they are going to spend $400 million to impact this race, that's more than john mccain and the republican party spent in total last time. it's a source of concern. it should be a source of concern to everyone.
>> the republican allies like the coke brothers spent. the obama campaign made up the gap when it comes to costly television advertising. by embracing a target and the fdc gives them a discount on ad rates. i have kim barker , a reporter who writes about campaign finance joining us. thanks for coming back.
>> thanks for having me.
>> you have been doing fantastic. what is your sense of what the surprises are in this campaign and the post citizens united world and what are the predictions come true?
>> a couple points. number one, you thought corporations were going to be spending a lot of money and giving money to the super pacs . you are not seeing that and seeing the donors come forward. one reason could be that you are seeing the spending by dark money groups.
>> we don't know --
>> right. you have some sort of sense, for instance, that aetna gave millions of dollars to a group called american action network. that was accidentally leaked.
>> you can see why a corporation doesn't want these donations to come out. with target for instance.
>> tell the target story. it happens before this campaign got revved up.
>> it kind of, it was like in baseball when you throw a fastball. it was a brushback pitch.
>> target gave money to a candidate, i believe it was in minnesota for the governor who was seen as being anti- gay marriage . as soon as this came out, there was a lot of boycotts, target had to come out and apologize for giving this donation. it was like, why would i want to put this out publicly what i think. there is a sense that, you know, if i want to give money to a particular cause or candidate, i can do it through social welfare and nobody has to know.
>> the big ones there are cross roads being run by karl rove .
>> and the chamber of commerce . i didn't realize how big of a player the commerce is.
>> yeah. americans for prosperity , the coke brothers group has been spending more than $40 million at this point on ads specifically against barack obama . you have this sense that there's hundreds of millions of dollars, probably one in four dollars spent by outside groups are going to be from, who knows. anonymous money . i think it's interesting. i don't think people are talking about it near as much as the super pac .
>> they have all the headlines.
>> the dark money, the groups that are counted as 501 c 4s. justice kennedy made a point about the importance of disclosure. we are now seeing that violated to the nth degree .
>> there are hundreds of hilarious lines by kennedy, but the most hilarious is, look, we always have disclosure. everyone will know who is giving money. it will act.
>> they can figure it out and see who is paying for the ads.
>> we are looking at the presidential, mostly. you know, the coke brothers are going flip the state legislature in arkansas. you have a guy named rex in missouri who may flip the state legislature there. you see the possibility of these megabillionaires and millionaires flipping the control of state governments .
>> let me make one point. federal election regulations don't extend to state races. in many states, there's been lax regulation. so we are clear, the big money --
>> the only thing i would say, the only hope out of this election is the revulsion among people is so enormous. you have 84% of americans, if you can build that into a real movement across the board saying this corporate money, whether it's super pac or what it's drowning out the voice of the people . it's something we need to build on. not just republicans and democrats.
>> the same target example you give applies to some of the private foundations they are trying to fund. digging around trying to find out about the voter fraud billboards in wisconsin and in cleveland was almost impossible to find out who it was. they did it privately. they didn't want their name disclosed. digging around, i found this. the coke brothers get the attention. they are leading and taking the incoming. some of the foundations are bigger and spend more money. they spend $300 million in ten years under the radar. they are, in turn, funding smaller foundations. they do the actual work. they want to be anonymous, too.
>> there's a great story in the times. now that the disclosure window passed for the election, a bunch of super pacs popped up. a new one that took out a buy in north dakota . we won't know who is funding