G.O.P. Campaigns Grow More Dependent on ‘Super PAC’ Aid

Intense campaigning in the early-nominating states has left the leading Republican presidential candidates increasingly reliant on millions spent on their behalf by outside groups.

Comments: 75

  1. Gee, I just have to wonder where any of these republican candidates would be now without their SuperPACs. Oddly enough, I imagine they'd be just where they are now--in a muddle unable to determine who the nominee is going to be. The presumption of inevitability has been stripped from Romney. Gingrich seems to have imploded (yet again). Santorum is appealing to the lunatic fringe. And Paul is just (and still) weird.

    I think the upshot is going to prove to be the SuperPACs did nothing but make radio and television stations more profitable in their markets; they are not going to change the dynamics of an already confused race (the "Anyone But Romney" forces are strong and even his SuperPAC can't counteract them). In the end, it's going to prove to be a big waste of money.

    Still, based on this reporting, I'll be sure to remember who gave the big money to which SuperPAC. I won't go to the Venetian in Las Vegas, and my corporate travel department already has a note in my file not to EVER book me in ANY Marriott property. So far as Wal-Mart goes, well, thankfully I live in NYC, so the possibility of my contributing to its bottom line is too remote. And vitamin supplements, it has been shown, just aren't all that good for you in the first place.

    They vote with their dollars and I vote with mine.

  2. If we 'must' have Super PACs lets get some benefit from them. Require that any Super PAC donation have a matching funds component made to a registered charity.

  3. Have you seen the turnout numbers? These guys don't have friends, they're just scrooges with money. We created a deficit for these guys, they got richer, now they don't want to pay the bills. Santorum would add trillions to the deficit. Romney would continue tax cuts while cutting regular people's health care. Gingrich is a joke and Paul would send us back to the 19th century.

  4. I'm not sure I agree with Kofender.
    Yes, the fight is bloody now, but who can argue with the fact that we now have a very small number of kingmakers out there, duking it out with big bucks?

    The candidates need no longer appeal (or pander) to their base, nor do they need broad based support. Instead, they need a kingmaker to support them. When it is all said and done, is there any question to whom their loyalty will lie?

    Let us pretend that Santorum wins, and then Mr. Friess has a request. Will it be refused? Doubtful, at least if Santorum wanted a second term.

    Easier to refuse a person who donated $2500 than $25,000,000.

    And I guarantee you these kingmakers are not donating out of some moral responsibility. The kickbacks they will get when their candidate wins will dwarf these "donations". (notice how Adelson stated he would change from Gingrich to the eventual R nominee later in the race to defeat Obama... thus it's not about idealism for him, it's about profit/loss).

  5. We need a campaign to overturn Citizens United. We need to overturn Citizens United. We need to pass an amendment against Citizens United. We need to protest Citizens United. We need to pass laws on the local level against Citizens United. We need to make sure the issue of Citizens United is brought up with our representatives.

    We need to make sure people understand the foundation of Citizens United is corporate personhood. Corporate personhood is founded on a weak headnote attached to Santa Clara County v Southern Pacific Railroad. The Supreme Court has never actually ruled on the legality of that headnote; they have only accepted it as a precedent. It's founded on the 14th amendment. It is the foundation for Citizens United. It is the foundation for Super PACs.

    We need to attack Super PACs at their root by exposing the sham of their legal foundation. Read the Supreme Court reports and reviews: these guys are not smarter than us. They just have power. But so do we. We can overturn this: we overturned the Fugitive Slave Act. Citizens United, corporate personhood, Super PACs: it's either corporations OR democracy. The constitution was written for us, not them.

  6. Kofender possibly is right that, in the end, the super pac money won't have a huge impact in 2012. I wish I were so sanguine.

    In fact, TV and other media have proven to be effective, and will be again this time around. The evidence is there: just look at the Republican candidates. The fact that so small a sampling of American voters have been involved in this process argues that we are already living in a plutocracy.

    Fact is, either through new Supreme Court justices, or a constitutional amendment, we need to get the big donations thrown out of politics. Until such time, we live in buy-your-politician land.

  7. It always makes me sad when I think about how much good all this money could be doing if it was donated to a worthy cause, like education or medical research.

    To put things into perspective - think about the huge controversy surrounding Planned Parenthood and their loss of funding from the Komen society. ~$700k, which admittedly isn't a huge part of their annual budget but is a significant amount of money nonetheless. From all these donations that money could have been made up instantly from just one or a small number of people.

    Think about how beneficial to society it would be if these kinds of donations went into building up local (state or national) medical and/or academic infrastructures instead. What a waste.

  8. The economic and political themes of today are the same;.wealth controls and the spread between those in control widens over the rest of society. Our political and economic system is broken. We either fix it or we should lose it.

    Slowly the wealthy have not only consolidated their riches; they have also have bought political power. This needs to and can change if we do the following.

    1. Prohibit Corporations and Unions From Financing Political Campaigns by Amending The Constitution
    2. Enforce Anti-Trust Laws against Oligopolies & Monopolies!
    3. Bring Our Deficit Under Control and amend tax code!

    The above are long term goals that will eventually bring more equally to the economy. The above goals will not be accomplished overnight and we need to do something that will bring the unemployment rate down now. A good start is President Obama's jobs bill with some modifications brought about by sound ideas brought about by members of Congress and the Senate.

    YHese changes will not occur from the top of political power. They have already been bought. The question is will the "average" American step up and make it happen. Read More: http://goo.gl/yFYDb

  9. If, as MSNBC reported, the bulk of all SuperPAC monies raised is from just 196 "legal entities" then the US Supreme Court decision in Citizen's United gives the highest judicial approval to a class separation of speech based on wealth.

    While this has historically been true in our country; i.e. the rich 'speak' louder than the poor, it is sad and disheartening to see it become legal precedent.

    If money truly is the equivalent of speech; why bother with the time and expense of elections? Let everyone register their net worth and those representing 51% of the country's wealth pick the government.

  10. Because the top 1% still need to maintain the APPEARANCE that a democracy still exists. Otherwise, heads will roll LITERALLY.

  11. Even if we accept the argument that the Super PACs have not really controlled the trajectory of the Presidential nomination process, we have no idea what role they play in Senate and House elections. I'd expect them to exert much more influence in Congressional and local races where media coverage is thinner, and advertising can have a greater role on opinions.

    Unfortunately the Times, like all the media, focus much too much attention on the Presidential race and largely ignore the races for the Senate and House. I'd like to see that strategy turned on its head, since control of Congress now seems much more unpredictable than who wiil control the White House next January. I doubt that will happen because it is a lot easy to cover a handful of Presidential candidates than the hundreds of Congressional candidates around the country. The Congressional races also have a lot less glamour. That doesn't make them any less newsworthy.

  12. The presidency is up for auction. Come on, get those bids in! Much more money needed.

  13. One wonders if those being targeted by the Republican advertising described in the companion article to this report on super PAC contributions, realize that those targeted, flag-waving ads that extol middle-class values and attack one Republican as "more liberal" than the next, are being paid for by Walmart, hedge fund billionaires and a Texas industrialist.

    I'll bet that they don't know and will never know, because they too busy praying to "take back America" to read the NYT or other so-called "mainstream media" and discover that the America that they want to take back from the Democrats has been bought and sold by the very interests that are putting the middle-class out of work.

    It's sad but true that, in a democracy, you get the government that you deserve.

  14. In a weird sort of way the Roberrs Court is giving Americans a better understanding of how democracy is manipulated to benefit the powerful and wealthy.
    Not that there 's anything RIght with that!
    Some of my best friends want to be rich and powerful.

  15. So, does the fact that relatively few donors contribute to the super pacs mean that we have slipped away from democracy to oligarchy?

  16. The people can prevent "oligarchy", but that takes action, not empty words.

  17. YES.

  18. It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's a Super PAC

    The contribution figures for January for both the Presidential candidates and their "non-affiliated" Super PACS show the overwhelming results of the Supreme Court's Citizen United ruling that authorized these new structures to begin with.

    The Super PACs for the four main Republican candidates, Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul, raised more than $22 million in January, more than the candidates themselves, and they ended the month with more cash on hand than the candidates, too.

    One important fact to note is that for the traditional campaign channels, where the contributions are limited to $2,500 per person, Mitt Romney has maxed out on a larger percentage of his contributors -- 44 percent -- than the other candidates. This means it will be more difficult for him to raise funds through this channel, thus foreshadowing an even greater role for his Super PAC.

    Of course, all this money in politics is tantamount to corruption, or, at the very least, undue influence by the donors. One hopes that after the campaign is over, the Congress will consider some form of legislation to eliminate this travesty. At this level, donations are not equivalent to the type of free speech that our Founders had in mind. (To read an analysis of the lead story in The New York Times, visit http://www.cioediting.com/wordpress.)

  19. Previous election when Obama won democratic nomination he and his associates fought only against Clintons and their establishment, which was not a small fight, as Clintons had created this establishment within 20 years before this 2008 election. However, now Ron Paul-the real leader of republican race and his campaign need to fight federal government and its establishment, military -oil complex, which is presented by such companies as Golden Sucks, JP Morgan and many others, whose names are very well knows. Incumbent president in 2008 didn't have any right to continue in White House, and, in difference with today's reality, PAC was not instructed to support ONLY those contenders of republican race, whom even Obama could defeat during general election. In short, the situation was much easier for its winner -our current president. However, now people know more than well that it is the question of the survival of this country's statehood and the survival of the word to elect for a change the decent president. I suggest that everybody consider as his/her duty to vote this primaries and to cast his/her vote for Ron Paul -the only person with whose name could be connected the salvation of this country.

  20. The corporations and top wealth are doing away with the pretenses. They're just buying the elections right in front of our eyes and giving us the raspberry.

    Obama has been a continuation of the essential Bush policies. This will continue after the next election, whether it's Romney or Obama, just a matter of management differences. It's just differences in management style and branding. The overall thrust of our business-run society will remain the same.

  21. Wall Street made a decision to back the Republican presidential candidate. Wall Street isn't putting it's money behind Romney for nothing?

  22. boobladoo: Yes. So, we have to fight back, and change to a for-the-people society, as it is supposed to be. Fight back. Make change happen with action. We need to make decisions between REAL leaders, for the presidency, not between the lesser of evils. We can do it, and we must do it, not talk endlessly about it. They know they "win", if they can keep everyone talking. Action scares "them", for many reasons. Go for it.

  23. Let's deal with reality. Thanks to the 2010 Supreme Court ruling, the participation of the SuperPACs is what it is for this election cycle. Though it may change after 2012, it is set for now.

    The Press thus assumes a crucial role in the 2012 elections. Since the donors to those SuperPACs must be disclosed, the Press can and should dutifully discover and report truthfully who is financially supprting each SuperPAC, including the amounts they have donated. We, the public, as individuals, do not have the wherewithall to get this done, but we need the information to vote our real opinions.

    The Press can and should reveal the identity, and identify the causes and historical positions of each significant SuperPAC donor. This will be an immense public service.

    In the simplest form, the public then needs to read and understand these articles, not just watch TV and listen to the radio. The public should be able to understand not only whom, but also what positions, they are actually supporting, when they vote for the candidates favored by each SuperPAC.

    The candidates are, in a sense, shills for the money and persons behind them. Read carefully. That appears to be the game for this election cycle.

  24. FanEnough: Interesting (and good) comment. I would only add "action" to what you said. ACTION terrifies the weak people we have in finance and politics (and everything else), that is why talking, reading, watching, listening, and so on, must be backed up by action. The weak can win, only if they can prevent/control action.

  25. Thank G-d Americans see that money isn't the true American way to choose a President. G-d Bless Americans. American civilization as we know it may still survive despite worshipers of money trying to change it.

  26. I don't think they have much to worry about. I believe David Koch said they've spent a lot, but there's much more coming. Maybe the Republicans should just elect the Koch brothers. That way at least they'd be out there. They seem to enjoy throwing their money into the affairs of the states.

  27. "Increasingly dependent" on SuperPACs means increasingly beholden to them. If any of these Republican candidates wins the White House, he will be owned by Big Money.

  28. BAM: Your concern is justified. The fortunate circumstances are that Big Money, regardless of political party, can't "control" anything, if we decide not to let it happen, and take action on that decision. Good post. Keep fighting.

  29. The prospect of having plutocrats dump millions of dollars onto sociopaths to vilify all skeptics of plutocracy is profoundly discouraging to all who are disgusted with the nonstop lying that characterizes life in money-bullied America.

  30. Steve Bolger: Good post. Don't be discouraged, keep fighting back.

  31. The Super Pac created by the 5 infamous Supreme Court Justices: namely
    the Roberts Supreme Court; is parallel to the Taxation without Representation of
    the British which caused the American Revolution.

    Roberts is the most infamous Justice in US History!!!

  32. Carol Russell the infamous five (at least four) I refer to as the RATS, Roberts, Alito, Thomas, and Scalia!

  33. Thanks SCOTUS. The Citizens United case ranks right up there with Chief Justice Taney upholding Dred Scott by stating that a black man has no rights a white man was bound to respect. Such wisdom!

  34. If it is the 1% that are speaking so loudly, why does anyone fear their message? There areanother 99% of us left to vote. 1% of the 99% cancels out the 1% themselves... if they bother to vote and if they didn't sleep through high school civics and actually use rational thought and logic to think about what they see and hear instead of just blythely accepting what CNN, MSNBC or FOX tells them their opinion needs to be. If the 99% can't be trusted to actually think rationally, why bother with democracy?

    Show me fiction once and I will know it is fiction. Show it to me 1000 times and the answer is the same - at least for me. Do you really fear the truth cannot be seen?

    Actually, as I read many of the comments here, I too, share that fear but refuse to cow to it.

  35. thebmer: Interesting, and good post.

  36. The reason it is important to have a broad donation demographic is that now the 1% have all the influence after the politician is elected. The million dollar donation speaks much louder than the people of need. This favortism is the root of the corruption. Why is it that Big Oil with 100's of billions in profits year after year are still subsidised? Because they have the campaign money and the ear of the politicos. How can we (Joe average) shout above that. Only by massing together,which does not occur often.

  37. Why bother with unauditable elections?

  38. While the Super PACs have certainly changed this election, they haven't determined it. If a presidential nomination was for sale, Mitt Romney would have already locked it up. In fact if it weren't for the rich benefactors of Gingrich and Santorum, both would probably be out of the race.

    If money could buy elections, both Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina would have won in California, but they didn't. While there is no doubt money influences and changes elections, they still aren't for sale.

  39. Wendy may just have touched on the worm in the apple; "if it weren't for the rich benefactors of Gingrich and Santorum, both would probably be out of the race."

    I suspect that is very true. Here's the irony, or the worm, if you will. By keeping these others in the race artificially, they are preventing the Republicans from coalescing around one candidate early and beginnning a concerted attack on the President. Every day they fight each other is another day for Obama. Worse, every day they fight each other they dig up more dirt on each other.

    The eventual winner will be so tarnished as to be un-electable by the general public. One almost wonders if the super PAC money going to Gingrich and Santorum isn't actually being provided by Democtats.

  40. That's a really good point and one that people need to keep in mind.

  41. Washington works for the 1%, not for the vast majority of the people. Former mayor of Salt Lake City, Rocky Anderson, has thrown his hat in the ring and will limit donations to $100. He supports campaign finance reform and overturning Citizens United. “We launched the Justice Party because the entire system is so corrupt. It's so diseased. We know that the public interest is not being served by anyone in the system right now, particularly the two dominant parties who have sustained this corrupt system and who are sustained by it.” http://www.justicepartyusa.net/

    America has more problems than it deserves and more solutions than it applies. Anderson would end the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, subsidies for oil and gas, and incentives to ship jobs overseas. To curb reckless speculation, he is in favor of a financial transaction tax and using the revenue to invest in our crumbling infrastructure, clean energy, innovation, job training and education (including free college for four years or equivalent).

    Reforming our financial system (and prosecuting the illegal behavior that led to the meltdown) is a priority so that banking can serve the needs of small business and consumers. Anderson is strong on environmental issues, supports climate change legislation, and opposes the privatization of public assets. He supports Medicare for all to reduce health care costs, ending the wars and cutting the waste in the military budget. It would free up money to put Americans back to work.

  42. Not only does corporate funding buy the allegiance of candidates to special corporate interests, but it also influences voters through funding of expensive and widely distributed advertisements. Expensive advertisements distort political discourse because they have no obligation to be factual or truthful. Moreover, the excessive funding is often used to buy airtime to repeat a message until it is perceived to be fact, essentially brainwashing people to choose a candidate the way that they might chose a dish detergent. Even worse, it puts any candidate who turns down such funding at a distinct disadvantage. Check out www.democracyisforpeople.org to learn more and become active in the movement to overturn Citizens United.

  43. CANDIDATES FOR SALE. Get them now, because they are going quick (and to the highest bidder).

  44. I wouldn't want one of them in my house. I would want one of them to do his or her job as a representative of we, the people, not of we, the plutocracy. It's just that I don't think that the bottom 99% of us have enough money collectively, to buy one.

  45. Isn't it time to rewrite the preamble of the Consitituion? We, the elitist people, by the elitist people and for the elitist people...... (I'm still pondering the rewrite of the following: "of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America "). No political contender would have a fighting chance to get elected if he/she would depend primarily on the contributions by the ordinary citizen. Should make you question who really is in control of Washington after the elections. With contributions ranging in the 6 and 7 figures, we all know there are strings attached.

  46. The Constitution did charter government of by and for a plutocracy of equals.

  47. The numbers here are drowning me. How about the rest of you?

    Since when are the American people so collectively dumb that we will attend to and believe the overpriced TV spots and choreographed circus acts (a.k.a. bus tours and town hall meetings) that the super-pac dollars are buying?

    The real winning candidate would be the one who says, "Thank you for all these billions of dollars: I am now going to donate every penny to America's schools, pre K through college level."

  48. "Since when are the American people so collectively dumb...?"

    Since...forever? When have the American people not be so collectively dumb? From the genocide of the Natives to the invasion of Iraq when has common sense and decency prevailed in this society?

  49. Romney has been a empty suit . He has no explantion of how to balance the budget or reform taxes . I think deep down he is the most sensible of the candidates , but he has to pander to the right wing base , and that would impede him if he did become president.

  50. All it takes is a prophesy by a dead purported prophet to give a rich boy a super case of narcissism.

  51. Overturning the US Supreme Court's (unjust) ruling of "Citizens United" and a return to public funding of elections is the burning issues before our nation. Until this country seeks justice and a rid the caustic erosion on corruption in D.C. we'll see a steady decline into the next stage of a Plutonic Dark Ages.

  52. Colonel Jack

    I agree, unfortunately as you know; it was Obummer who started this mess in 2007 refusing to use public funding caps and went with his private income stream from many dubious "investors" to elect a puppet.

    Unfortunately, Obama is living the old saying; "ye shall reap what ye shall sow"

    Fair people play by fair rules provided we all play by the same rules. Obama does not play fair, so guess what? no one wants to either now.

    When he is gone, fairness will return

  53. President Obama abided by the rules and used an option that had been written into the original law: accepting public funding was always optional, and I believe Ross Perot didn't accept it, either. Moreover, the Citizens United ruling was part of a pattern of Supreme Court decisions gradually chipping away at efforts to regulate campaign finance, a process the Court started back in the 1970s. The Court's decision had nothing to do with Obama's 2008 campaign and everything to do with the political views of five Supreme Court justices.
    Sorry, Colonel Jack

  54. To claim that "Obummer" "started this mess" is disingenuous.
    Obama opted out of the "public funding caps" because, first, the Republicans were not going to stick with public funding, and, second, his support was sufficient to vastly exceed what he could get from public funding.
    The "many dubious "investors"" were, mostly, people who gave what they could. Obama's average contribution was much smaller than that given to Republican candidates, and the number of his contributors was much greater.
    "Many dubious "investors""?? Where do you get this stuff? How is Obama anywhere near as plutocratic as the Republican candidates?
    The reality of politics is that, to get elected, you need lots and lots of money. Fortunately, money alone is not sufficient: witness the (Republican) candidate in California who spent over a hundred million dollars of her own money (much more than her opponents could raise) in an attempt to buy a seat in government. She lost.

  55. As it presently stands, our only hope in the short term is that "The People" can see behind all this spending. I have this silly idea that they will become inoculated to endless 30 second spots on the tube by the sheer volume of them.

    In the long term, nothing less than a constitutional amendment will fix the problem .
    Corporations are not people and money is not speech.

  56. For a party that believes in minimal government the Republicans have relied an awful lot on the ruling of the Supreme Court on Citizens United. It just shows that government is good when it does what they (the Republicans) want and bad when it works in someone else's favor. These super PACs are also making us less of a participatory democracy. While I have voted in every presidential election I was eligible to vote in I'm beginning to feel that my vote doesn't count in any election any longer. What has begun to count more in this country is how much money a candidate or a party has. It's the same thing that has happened with medical care and lawyers: you get the best care or justice that money can buy. I'm not sure that that's what our Founding Fathers had in mind when they wrote the Constitution although I'm certain that Scalia, Roberts, Alito, and Thomas could find those precedents buried there somewhere.

    How about a campaign without PACs, without massive corporate contributions, and one that is done in 6 months rather than 2 years? That would be a wonderful contribution to the silly season: less of it.

  57. People have lost jobs and cannot get new ones, they have lost their homes and cannot feed their families. It's lunacy and a blatant lack of empathy to be throwing these astronomical amounts of money at campaigns. These political rivers of big money are drowning us all. While "the rest of us" are flailing around in dark water the big money is cruising around in their yachts. I cannot wrap my head around this at all. Hello?!

  58. It's scary enough to think about big money and big influence in politics. But what really turns my stomach is thinking about what these billions could do for a country whose people are in deep financial trouble. Set up a few small businesses, maybe? Some improvements in education? Maybe a bridge repair or two...

  59. "Most of that money came in six- and seven-figure checks from just a few dozen individuals or corporations — the billionaire casino executive Sheldon Adelson, the mutual fund investor Foster S. Friess and the PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, among others — who have exploited recent court rulings and changes in campaign finance rules to exert unprecedented influence over their party’s choice of presidential nominee."
    With politicians in their pockets ( unless you are gullible enough to think they are spending this kind of money without wanting something in return) and Supreme Court on their side there is no stopping to 'leveraged buy out' of the American democracy. Any Democrat voter who uses PayPal to pay the bills, spends money at Adelson's casinos or spends money at businesses owned by these billionaires are in essence supporting a Republican candidate. People can stop giving money to the Republican candidates by not doing business with any of the companies and businesses owned by these billionaires. That's how you keep being owned and occupied by these corrupt moneybags.

  60. Oh come on now, you don't really think that Adelson & Co. want/expect something in return for their "investments"????

    Wouldn't that be unpatriotic and even unAmerican?

  61. It makes me sick that so much money is going to these candidates and their campaign's. It is such a waste of money. There so many families in need of money to keep them in there homes and provide a safe place for their children. Just think what 21 millions per month would do regular people

  62. Do you think that the super rich psycopaths that are buying these equally psycopathic candidates give a hoot about poor people? This, in fact, is about expanding their agenda of greed, control and devastation and subjugation of the poor.

  63. If any politician did their job, they would not require money, nor have to sell their soul, to be elected. Their visible RESULTS would be their power, and the people would vote for them. This requires having people who are REAL leaders, in leadership positions, and we don't have any, and that includes obama, and the "candidates" who want to replace him (including all those who own him, and "them"). Right now we have "empty people" in leadership positions shouting out "empty words" (their "directors" have made them rehearse), and an extremely naive, life-inexperienced public believing what these empty people are saying and promising, AGAIN, and campaigning and voting for them. Write in the names in the ballots in November (or, something similar) of people who you have seen PROVE with action (not "verbal garbage") and RESULTS, REAL results, that they care about ALL people, and especially people who are most in need. We need REAL leaders in leadership positions, not the selfish, inexperienced, mega-titled and credentialed, cowardly, token "leaders" (failures, full of excuses, and "you-know-what"), that we have now in our country's social, political, economic, financial, military, academic, diplomatic, etc., positions. Be active, strong, positive, fearless, and determined. We have a great country, filled with great people (like YOU), don't let weak people destroy it.

  64. New Super PACs are growing more powerful than the campaigns they support. For two of the Republican/Tea/Evangelical Party "presi-denial" candidates, their supportive super PACs raised more money and have more cash left in the bank than the candidates' own campaigns.

    Willard Mittford "My Campaign Is Falling Apart" Romney-leaning Restore Our Future and Newt "In The Moon" Gingrich-supportive Winning Our Future raised a combined $17 million in January, and spent approximately $24 million during that same period. Romney raised $6.5 million in January [super PAC raised $6.6 million] and had $7.7 million left over, while Gingrich's presidential campaign raised $5.5 million in January [super PAC raised $11 million] and had $1.8 million left over.

    The super PAC supporting Romney finished January with $16.3 million in the bank. Restore Our Future received $500,000 checks from three separate donors: coal company executive Joseph W. Craft of Tulsa, Okla.; Bruce Kovner of New York City and David Lisonbee of Sandy, Utah. Repeat donors included the brothers J.W. Marriott and Richard Marriott, who donated $250,000 each in January, which adds to the combined $1 million they donated last year. Harold Simmons gave $100,000 and Meg Whitman donated $100,000.

    Romney's presidential campaign and the super PAC supporting him pulled in $13.1 million total in January, but spent $32.7 million - an astounding burn rate more than double any of his rivals' campaigns or super PACs.

  65. These GOP candidates could have the world's money and it won't buy a dime's worth of integrity.

    Why is the discussion of money totally detached from the fact that these candidates are worthless?

  66. It would be interesting to know how much these individuals and organizations for for the poor and charitable causes. Howe much doesTrupm give out to worth causes?????

  67. Thanks to our supreme court our country belongs to only super rich people. The politicians are for sale now. Ordinary citizens have no voice. Our government is for the rich and by the rich Where is fairness?

  68. We are now not a democracy as much as we are a plutocracy. We need to change the Preamble to reflect this reality:

    "We the wealtheist People of the United States, in order to form a more profitable Union for ourselves, do establish a wealth friendly Justice, insure the domestic concentration of the nation's wealth accrues to ourselves, defend the right to plunder for profit, promote the richest among us, and secure the Blessings of Money to those who buy Congress and the Presidency, do ordain and establish this Constitution to ensure we get it all."

    Once the Preamble is changed we as a nation can return to the practice of slavery, general exploitation and discrimination in order to fullfil the Constitutional rights and objectives of the wealtheist among us.

    The whole reality of what is happening spells the end of our country as our Founders envisioned it. The Supremes have made a mockery of our once great demopcracy.

    Bruce Olson, Houston

  69. PACs are merely an outgrowth of our shameful system which has continously permitted, and encouraged, political donations for the purpose of gaining access and influence. To be intellectually honest, we must acknowledge that all major candidates, Republican and Democrats alike, entusiastically solicit and accept contributions from such donors. In the upcoming Presidential election, the Republican candidate will receive millions of dollars from PACs and special interest groups who hope to have influence if he is elected.

    In the upcoming Presidential election, President Obama will receive millions of dollars from Pacs and special interest groups who hope to have influence if he is reelected.

    Both sides are equally culpable, and will remain so in the next election, the election after that, the election after that......

    Our system is broken, and we allow it.

  70. The party of god, family and almighty morals is hooked to the super packs and their money like a newborn calf to the cow. May their god (or anybody's god) help us all!

  71. Yesterday was a historic event in our capital that mainstream media blatantly ignored. Over 1000 troops marched from the Washington Monument to the White House chanting "President Paul", "End the FED", and "End these wars". When at the White House, they turned their backs to the White House and stood in silence for 1 second for every service member that's died since Obama took office - 20 minutes! Then proceeded to have a rally for Ron Paul. Where is your coverage of this? If the troops did that for any other candidate, it would be front page news everywhere. Ron Paul also gets 2/3s of all military donations to presidential candidates, including Obama.

  72. "G.O.P. More Dependent on ‘Super PAC’ Aid"???

    Wonder if Mitt, Newt, & Rick, Inc. will start assailing the "crippling culture of dependence and addiction of the GOP, a la their critique of "dependence" on evil social programs????

  73. The President is more in the pocket of the Unions and Soros and all of the liberal groups that pay for ads that support his causes. Isn't it obvious? Solindra and GM etc. are examples. Instead of letting GM go bankrupt, and reorganize, he took it over and gave half of the company to the unions. The batteries blow up. they won't be selling this volt after next year. Most of the ones bought were bought by governemnt etc. It is disgraceful. Far worse than any PAC!

  74. Is anyone checking that this giant wave of $2500 donors are real? And not just write-in proxies created with stolen identities and from dead people?

  75. The "Citizens United" case happened on January, 2010. We are in the middle of the 2012 race for the general election. Extremely short time line.

    Are the Republican candidates riding into office on a sea of money? I don't think so.