Want to see what unlimited money in politics gets you? Bring on the race-based attacks

This is the first election cycle in the United States since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that anyone could spend as much as they like — with little or no disclosure — attacking or supporting candidates or political parties in an election. Thus was born the SuperPAC (PAC standing for Political Action Committee) where billionaires can fund ad campaigns saying whatever they want and the candidates they are supporting are, by law, not allowed to tell them a thing.

And while campaigns controlled by the candidates themselves can certainly be vicious and aggressive in going after their opponents, SuperPACs, as we saw in the Republican primary can take it to a whole new level.

The New York Times gets its hands on a proposed campaign by one of those SuperPACs that, the Times says, would try to play the race card against U.S. President Barack Obama. Now, from my vantage point here in Ottawa, any campaign that seeks to use race as a wedge seems to me to be a dangerous thing in U.S. politics.

But that, the Times says, appears to be what the wealthy Ricketts family wants to do by spending $10 million to stop Obama.

And, as the Times notes:

[This] serves as a rare, detailed look at the birth of the sort of political sneak attack that has traditionally been hatched in the shadows and has become a staple of presidential politics.

It also shows how a single individual can create his own movement and spend unlimited sums to have major influence on a presidential election in a campaign finance environment in which groups operating independently of candidates are flourishing.

Should the plan proceed, it would run counter to the strategy being employed by Mitt Romney’s team, which has so far avoided such attacks. The Romney campaign has sought to focus attention on the economy, and has concluded that personal attacks on Mr. Obama, who is still well liked personally by most independent voters surveyed for polls, could backfire.

via G.O.P. ‘Super PAC’ Weighs Hard-Line Attack on Obama – NYTimes.com.

Irony note: The Ricketts-funded SuperPAC is called the Ending Spending Action Fund. Its backers feel Obama and governments generally spend too much money. Meanwhile, the Ricketts family was seeking up to $300 million in public funding for one of its businesses, the Chicago Cubs and Wrigley Field.

One thought on “Want to see what unlimited money in politics gets you? Bring on the race-based attacks”

  1. The Super Pacs are a controversy only because Democrats are complaining about them. Fewer Democrats, except the Hollywood shills, want to donate to Obama.

    Soros is not a virtual Super Pac?… SEIU, AFSCME (the mega unions aren’t virtual Super Pacs?)… the enviro-extremists aren’t “issues driven” Super Pacs? ACORN derivative front groups funded by Unions and the Feds aren’t virtual Super Pacs?

    Why is going after Jeremiah Wright a controversy? Because a Super Pac is doing it? They are doing the job that was never ever considered when Obama was supposed to be vetted in 2008. The vetting process should now begin if Romney has any sense to do what McCain refused to do.

    Will you, Mr. Akin, expose Obama’s literary bio on your show when you reference the Super Pac story… a bio that was repeatedly updated since 1991 stating that Obama was born in Kenya, but miraculously changed in 2007 after Obama announced his candidacy.

    You know the media business which includes publishing. Bios are always approved and updated by book authors. Or will you just relegate this news item to being just another birther story? This story is all over Breitbart now. Breitbart, up until now, refused to do “birther” stories. Ben Shapiro, from Breitbart, would do anything to walk away from a “birther” story. Not anymore, however.

    Here’s some references… please consider them.

    Jack Cashel on Deconstructing Obama

    Ben Shapiro of Breitbart on Obama’s Bio.

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