Thursday, October 28, 2010

Follow The Money

NPR has a great piece today about purportedly independent advocacy groups working to elect Republicans.  These groups are fully coordinated and are awash in funds from secret donors:  "Early this year, the Supreme Court ruled that corporations could spend unlimited amounts of money in partisan politics, and Republican advocacy groups have been flush with cash ever since."  The report provides a handy interactive map to show "just how interconnected these secret donor groups are" and characterizes them as "one big network:  a Republican campaign operation, working outside the official party."  Not surprisingly, in a recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, seven out of ten registered votes expressed concern about this outside spending.  As Media Matters put it:  "The key takeaway number here is that 71% of registered voters are concerned that 'a candidate who is helped' by groups like the Chamber of Commerce, Americans for Prosperity, and the Rove-inspired money mills 'could be beholden to their interests.'  And we don't know what those interests are, because they won't tell us where they get their money."  The problem is whether the public is fully aware of  this development.  The NPR report notwithstanding, Eric Alterman writes today about how, with articles like the one in the N.Y. Times this week (“Democrats Retain Edge in Spending on Campaigns"), "reporters are misleading the public about what is the most important development in American democracy in decades by confusing the party committees with the actual story of fundraising."  As Alterman concludes:  "One would think a development where money does in the nation with the longest continuous history of democracy would be something of interest to those who report on it. Then again, you go to elections with the media you have."


Post a Comment