Up | November 04, 2012
>>> just to get a sense of the numbers we know, again, we don't have a complete picture. some of the dark money doesn't get disclosed until 60 days afterward. even the stuff that is disclosed in terms of who is giving it won't be disclosed until after the election. $577 million spent by conservative groups. dark money, this is the smaller pool of money that is outside money , but not disclosed through what are social welfare organizations who, under the law the primary person has to be social welfare , helping the community. 81% of that is supporting republicans and 19% democrats. they made a great point. i want to show this press release. this is great. gas station ad. i don't mean an ad about a gas station , i mean ads at gas stations . they have so saturated the air waves, they have having a change the pump ad. when grow to the local gas station and pump gas on the lcd screen , it's playing a romney ad about the cost of gas. there's no more ad space to buy. josh, i think you have a different perspective than i do.
>> this is inevitable. the parts you find the most problematic are the most unconstitutional. i can take out an ad urging you not to eat meat or i can take out an ad urging you to vote for a candidate. donations to campaign committees, which we regulate. but, the parts of this that are basically wealthy individuals spending their money in order to encourage people to vote, i don't think there's a way to prevent people from spending their money like that.
>> if there was a way --
>> we have limits.
>> we did for citizens united .
>> 1974 , the unraveling of a campaign finance structure, infrastructure that led to buckley versus vallejo. the supreme court equating money with speech. there are many ways to carve out first amendment and maintain a democracy. i don't think you can have a democracy with citizens united with dark money and what we are witnessing in terms of the pollution of our already polluted political system. why is anything inevitable in this regard?
>> i think money may be anonymous to us, to voters, the dark money coming in. we don't know who is putting that money in. but, i would imagine the candidates know who is putting in $10 million or $100 million.
>> i think --
>> wait. let's ask for a response.
>> you can change the disclosure rules. i think it's a good thing to change so we know where the money is coming from. people overstate how much it changed the landscape. we have the 527 groups for citizens united . if you change the law for super pacs, it will look like 527s. i don't think there's a constitutional way to prohibit that.
>> let me make this technical point. the coordination was different. in 2004 , it really was the case, there was strict enforcement. i know internally, the norms from reporting on this were extremely strict. you do not coordinate. george can spend millions of dollars. you are right, there's a certain amount of spending that is not regulated. you can buy a newspaper. print out leaflets and distribute them. the coordination between campaigns and outside groups, there was more of a church state separation. this is a technical point of what on the ground looks different.
>> slightly defend --
>> it's because the fec is deadlocked.
>> will you -- i think this is an underappreciated aspect. there's a regulatory body called the fcc that makes rules that says here is how we will interpret the court's decision and how we make that into on the ground ruling. they have a fair amount of --
>> why is it? explain this to people.
>> they can't agree on how to set rules on deciding how to interpret citizens united . it's made up of six people. three of them have to be democrats. three have to be republicans.
>> the republicans obstructed?
>> there hasn't been an attempt for new appointments. five of the six commissioners terms are expired. they are continuing to serve. you have three republicans that have a certain viewpoint led by one commissioner who believes there should not be regulations.
>> this is the guy that does campaign finance .
>> doesn't believe there should be restrictions.
>> can i slightly defend josh a little bit?
>> in the essential i think the surprise about citizens united is how little effect this money has had on the result. there's a certain point where you reach media saturation. you cannot watch one more ad. they are on so much they are not effective. two, i think it had more of an impact on the republican primary than it did in the general election . three, i think the more insidious thing that happened is you have opened the doors to employers, smaller employers who have more influence and more possibility of intimidating their own employees. the coercion to vote for the candidate is worse than the money.
>> i suspect you disagree with that. i want to hear