As 2016 presidential election is clearly becoming the most expensive in all U.S. history, campaign experts are concerned that lax camping finance rulings issued by the nation’s top court along with a “dysfunctional” Federal Election Commission may further fuel a phenomenon that represents a threat to democracy as we know it.
Some analysts noticed that currently there are two types of political finance systems – one that is overt and regulated in which hopefuls can raise limited donations from their campaign sponsors and they must report them, and another one that is secretive and allows candidates to raise as many money as they can from the so-called political action committees (PACs). The latter donations are often held secret and can hit nine-digit figures.
Additionally, the Federal Election Commission (FEC), which was designated to regulate political money, was rendered “dysfunctional and toothless” by the revamped camping finance rules. The FEC needs to supervise every PAC that supports candidates, as well as the impressive amounts of “dark money” that flow into politically-oriented non-for-profit organizations that do not have to reveal who their donors were.
Super PACs become of concern in 2012, when donor money helped Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum stay in the race although their money raised during campaign almost disappeared.
So, virtually, super PACs changed the natural flow of events. Now, a candidate doesn’t get out of business if he or she runs out of money. They drop out only if they run out of the “sugar daddy” pumping cash into their super PAC, one expert noted.
Until recently however, not all hopefuls had a super PAC to cover their backs. Yet, this campaign nearly all candidates have one. Additionally, experts reported that four in five dollars raised by a GOP presidential nominee went to an outside organization rather than to the candidate.
Matea Gold from Washington Post noted that primary fights will turn out to be “incredibly long” because no one knows what candidates would get a “second wind” if their donors decide to pump some extra money into the campaign.
Under the federal law, every presidential hopeful can collect no more than $2,700 per election cycle. So, the big money they gave to nonprofits backing their campaign was in fact coming from the U.S. billionaires.
Campaign Legal Center noted that Jeb Bush raised $11 million in the first two weeks following his presidential bid. But his super PAC collected $103 million more in just half of year.
“When Bush gets $100 million plus, and when Hillary gets $50 million plus, every one of those people that put up money will control Bush,”
GOP presidential hopeful Donald Trump noted.
Image Source: Say Anything (blog)
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