On Sunday, Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele took to the airwaves with his party’s twin messages of corporate pandering and denial.
It was a remarkable performance.
Asked by Meet the Press host David Gregory if he was worried about the unprecedented amount of undisclosed special interest money being spent in this election, Steele answered, “I don’t know what they’re talking about. No one’s produced one shred of evidence that any of that is happening.”
Steele then proceeded to explain that he doesn’t have any evidence of secretive corporate spending in elections because organizations doing such spending aren’t required to disclose their donors: [Read more]
The Supreme Court sent a wave of corporate and union money flooding into campaign ads this year, but it did so with the promise that the public would know — almost instantly — who was paying for them.
“With the advent of the Internet, prompt disclosure of expenditures can provide shareholders and citizens with the information needed to hold corporations and elected officials accountable for their positions,” Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote in January. “This transparency enables the electorate to make informed decisions and give proper weight to different speakers and messages.”
But Kennedy and the high court majority were wrong. Because of loopholes in tax laws and a weak enforcement policy at the Federal Election Commission, corporations and wealthy donors have been able to spend huge sums on campaign ads, confident the public will not know who they are, election law experts say.
Corporate donors have been able to hide their contributions despite the opposition of shareholders and customers — the very groups cited by Kennedy. [Read more]
But the millions collected by the candidates in their battle to represent Las Vegas still fall well short of the nearly $6.8 million that special-interest groups and political parties have pumped into the race, making it one of the House contests attracting the most outside spending. Much of the money is flowing into negative advertising. [Read more]