Panelists include Monica Youn, David Keating, Richard Brookhiser and Scott Murphy.
EditorialTHE 2012 ELECTION featured, as always, a record amount of spending. It featured, as always but in a far bigger increment than the usual increase, a record amount of spending by outside groups. With new avenues for unlimited contributions unleashed by the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, outside groups spent more than $1 billion in the 2012 campaign, compared with less than $300 million four years ago, according to data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics.
By Dave LevinthalThe venerable dictionary hasn’t officially announced a date on which super PAC will join recent contemporary entries such as “earworm,” “f-bomb” and “cloud computing.” A formal definition also is forthcoming.
By STEVEN MALANGAKicking off his recent campaign to raise taxes via Proposition 30, California Gov. Jerry Brown cited the New Testament warning that of those to “whom much is given, much will be asked.” He meant that the rich should pay more taxes, but his statement proved true in a different way: In successfully pushing for the governor’s initiative, California’s rich and powerful government unions spent tens of millions of dollars on advertising and getting out the vote.
By TARINI PARTI and DAVE LEVINTHALWhen it comes to how money influenced the outcome of the 2012 elections, there’s been one consistent refrain: Republican-supporting billionaires spent hundreds of millions of dollars with little to show for it.
EditorialMontanans overwhelmingly approved Initiative 166 on Election Day. The measure requires the state’s congressional delegation to propose an amendment to the United States Constitution that would prohibit corporate contributions and expenditures in Montana elections. Even in Montana, it is unlikely that voters believe this will happen anytime soon. But the law is an expression of outrage about harmful intervention in the state’s campaign system.
By Peter WallstenProminent Republicans are launching a new super PAC they hope will help begin repairing the political damage left by years of anti-illegal-immigrant rhetoric that has dominated GOP primaries and alienated crucial Hispanic voters.
Alito told roughly 1,500 people at a Federalist Society dinner this week that the First Amendment protects political speech, whether from an individual or a corporation. His comments to the overwhelmingly conservative and Republican crowd were part of his broader analysis of arguments put forth by the Obama administration in recent years that Alito said would curtail individual freedoms in favor of stronger federal power.
Candidates and parties
By JOHN BRESNAHAN and KATE NOCERASherman denounced the super PAC mailer as soon as it became public and pointed out that he had no control over Californians for Integrity in Government’s activities.But that doesn’t matter to other California Democrats.
By Zeynep Tufekci“I AM not a number. I am a free man!” was the famous cry of prisoner Number Six, who could never escape his Kafkaesque village on the 1960s television show “The Prisoner.” This is a prescient cry for an era when numbers follow us everywhere. Jim Messina, the victorious Obama campaign manager, probably agrees that you are not a number. That’s because you are four numbers.
By Trevor PotterIt is the FEC and the permissive regulations it has created over the past decade that have allowed close connections between candidates, parties and political action committees. And it is the agency’s dysfunctional state — engineered by a Republican congressional leadership adamantly opposed to campaign finance reform — that has turned the Supreme Court’s promise of transparency into a joke.