Why We’re Screwed, Part MMLXXVI

Thomas B. Edsall:

We don’t know who the contributors are to Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS because they can hide behind provisions in federal tax law designed to protect donors to “social welfare” charities, but we do know how much each gave, and we do know generally, from Crossroads’ annual 990 filings with the I.R.S., how the money was spent. In 2012, according to its own statement, Crossroads GPS spent $74.2 million not on commonly understood social welfare objectives but on direct political activities.

Crossroads raised the money for its 2012 tax-exempt activities from 291 unnamed men and women who wrote checks for a total of $179.7 million, an average contribution of $617,525 – nearly 12 times the 2012 median household income in the United States of $53,046, and 22 times the 2012 per capita income of $28,051.

We know now that in 2012 the 291 people who funded Crossroads got zip for their money. But somebody must still be donating, because Crossroads is still in business. They’re pouring a lot of money into the midterms and might actually turn the Senate over to the GOP, which IMO would be an unmitigated disaster for America. On the other hand, it’s possible their ads won’t make that much difference. For example, Crossroads is still running anti-Obamacare ads that even Glenn Kessler thinks are stuck in a time warp.

There’s no question that the “dark” money is giving a Reublicans a huge advantage, but even if dark money contributions were equal, an equal number of plutocrats on each side of the aisle does not create government of the people, by the people, and for the people.

9 thoughts on “Why We’re Screwed, Part MMLXXVI

  1. So extend a good problem definition to the answer.

    There’s a bill called the Anti-Corruption Act. http://anticorruptionact.org/


    1. Stop politicians from taking bribes

    2. Limit super PAC contributions and “coordination”

    3. Prevent job offers as bribes

    4. Call all people who lobby, lobbyists

    5. Limit lobbyist donations

    6. End secret money

    7. Empower all voters with a tax rebate (publicly financed elections)

    8. Disclose “bundling”

    9. Enforce the rules

    The act was designed by a former head of the FEC, Trevor Potter. He worked in consultation with constitutional lawyers and guys who know the other side of the street, like Jack Abramoff. This could actually work, if people knew about it. I want to see Barbara rewrite the title on this topic when it passes –
    ‘Why We Might Not Be Screwed’.

  2. Doug,
    I’d add that no House or Senate member can by hired by a lobbyist group for X# of years – and the same goes for their staff’s, only not as long a wait.
    Look at Cantor.
    He lost in his primary, and went to a job paying him $3+ millions a year to lobby the people he worked with for years.

  3. So…which “Social Welfare” programs did the other $105 million go to? Other than lining the pockets of Karl Rove? He has been a Social Welfare project for years now and with the exception of GW – hasn’t produced much of anything.

    I’d say GW was a fluke – he had name recognition and a certain kind of charm: pardon me but I just threw up in my mouth a little bit…I’ll have to get back to you on that.

  4. Sondra,
    I’ve made this joke here before – but, maybe George W. Bush was “Karl Rove’s Brain,” instead of the other way around.

  5. Sondra,
    I’ve made this joke here before – but, maybe George W. Bush was “Karl Rove’s Brain,” instead of the other way around.

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