Most. Expensive. Campaign. Ever. That's what we'll see during the 2012 election cycle. Politico reported on Friday on President Obama's end-of-second-quarter push for campaign cash, which is expected to be record-breaking. And the Christian Post reported today on Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, and his 2nd quarter haul of $20 million, far outraising his counterparts in the GOP primary.
As it does this time in a presidential election cycle, questions of whether candidates will opt in to the public financing system, which was set up in the aftermath of Watergate, start popping up. But with campaign realities changing, the question seems quaint, if not entirely unrealistic.
Public Campaign President & CEO, Nick Nyhart, in Politico: “You have a choice between running a modern presidential campaign and a system built in the 70s and hasn’t had a tune-up,” Nyhart said. “You wouldn’t go to the Indy 500 or Daytona 500 and run in a 1970s car that hasn’t been maintained.”
Then-candidate Obama took some intitial heat for refusing public financing in 2008, but as the quote above shows, and thanks to the Roberts Supreme Court, he wasn't really given a choice. After the Citizens United ruling last year, the floodgates were opened, and now anyone with a few billionaire friends can heavily influence an election.
These campaign fundraising numbers are staggering, and will continue to be as the election nears, but that's the reality that the Big Money Roberts 5 has given us. More money in elections. More ability for corporations to spend big for the Congress/President they want. And less of a voice for regular Americans.