More and more “speech,” fewer and fewer “speakers”

Seen enough political advertising yet? No?

Well, don’t worry. If the governor’s race goes into a runoff, you’ll be able to bask in attack ads from now until December. If the Senate race goes into a runoff, you’ll be golden into January. And if the Georgia race decides control of the Senate? Hoo boy.

But where is all this money coming from? The Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks political fundraising trends, gives us a depressing update:

“The 2014 midterms may well mark the election cycle in which the small donor got left behind. Revised projections by the Center for Responsive Politics for the total cost of these congressional races suggest they may be only slightly more expensive than those in 2010, but outside money will have played an outsized role. And the number of identified individual donors will shrink, meaning more money will have come from fewer people.”

Spending by outside groups is already up 66 percent over the 2010 midterms, with almost a week left in the race. Money raised and spent by candidates is down; candidates for Senate spent $779.9 million in the 2010 midterms, falling to $636.2 million so far in 2014. Giving by billionaires is up sharply, while the number of individuals giving $200 or more has fallen from 817,464 in 2010 to 666,773 so far this year. Wall Street is by far the most dominant giver, investing the lion’s share of its money in conservative causes and conservative politicians.

This cycle’s two biggest individual spenders — Tom Steyer ($73.7 million) and Michael Bloomberg ($20 million) — supported liberal candidates, but 15 of the top 20 givers backed conservative candidates. And that was the money that could be be traced; much of it could not.

Bob Biersack, a senior fellow at CRP, notes that the data show “a further compression of the process”:

“More and more of the relevant participation is happening among fewer and fewer actors, both people and organizations. In a world where vibrant democracies are a function of real participation by as many people as possible, the system we have now seems to be encouraging the opposite, where more and more impact comes from fewer and fewer players.”

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing in the landmark, 5-4 Citizens United ruling, reassured us that money is speech and that “independent expenditures, including those made by corporations, do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption. That speakers may have influence over or access to elected officials does not mean that those officials are corrupt. And the appearance of influence or access will not cause the electorate to lose faith in this democracy.”

The man had no idea what he was talking about.

Reader Comments 0

363 comments
SwamiDave
SwamiDave

The more interesting post-mortem on this election will be analysis of the millions of dollars spent by Democrats in their #UniteBlue initiatives to make inroads into Red states especially in the South.  Those efforts might be better named the "Maginot Offensives" in that they will have produced very little in the way of positive results & have (as in WWII) been essentially circumvented by Republicans to challenge in stronger Democratic strongholds.  


The stories of Campaign 2014 have largely progressed from #DemocraticGains to #HoldTheGround to #MinimizeTheLosses.


Usually we'd have to wait until after the Election for blame to be assessed, but the usually leading-from-behind Obama administration has jumped out front on this regard.  According to them, it is all the fault of Democratic candidates not supporting the President and his policies.  So if all those Democrats won't fall on the sword, the Obama administration will gladly stab them with it!


-SD

Penses
Penses

@YJC

"It's living maybe for congress to legislate, NOT for the court to do so.  The court interprets the laws, NOT interprets what the legislature intended. If the legislature intended something, the court doesn't magically "discover" one day that a law has a whole new meaning say, because Anthony Kennedy ate spicy food last night.  It's a dangerous arbitrary power the court is assuming in this century and throughout the last half of the 20th."


The SCOTUS arrogated to itself the "right" of judicial review back in 1803 (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marbury_v._Madison) and it has to a greater or lesser extent been making, rather than interpreting, law ever since. That the court reached two diametrically opposed rulings on segregation in the span of sixty years proves they are not really interpreting the Constitution, but "twisting" its meaning. This deplorable behavior has accelerated since the end of WWII. Once upon a time, Constitutional changes were effected via amendments (as in allowing greater voting rights). Now, it is effected by a panel of unelected justices, some of whom see the Constitution as a "living document" (a tact I think I will try to get my mortgage - a CONTRACT like the Constitution - annulled). The Senate can impeach justices any time they want, They long ago decided they could only do so for "indictable" crimes, but the only thing that binds them to that is tradition.


Here is the best book I ever read on interpretation:


http://yalepress.yale.edu/book.asp?isbn=9780300016925

Nick_Danger
Nick_Danger

Back in the day,  there was a stereotype of conservatives laughing at "hippies" who were overly afraid of nuclear power.

Nowadays, there is a stereotype of (scientists?  well-educated?) laughing at (politicians?  yahoos?) for being overly afraid of ebola.

Compare and contrast.

td1234
td1234

Well dang another Carter LIE debunked about Education failing under Deal leadership. 


"From Georgia DOE this morning:

Georgia DOE reports the third consecutive rise in the state’s high school graduation rate. (AJC Photo)

Georgia’s public high school graduation rate has increased for the third consecutive year, rising from 71.8 percent in 2013 to 72.5 percent in 2014, and rising a total of 5.1 percentage points since 2011.

“This is something to celebrate,” State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge said. “When we see the graduation rate consistently trending upward and when we see a greater percentage of our students graduating from our public high schools, we are talking about individual students and individual dreams. We’re talking about students whose options and futures expanded when they obtained a high-school diploma. So we are celebrating their victories, and turning toward the future, and the work necessary to make those dreams a reality for an even higher percentage of students.”

This is the fourth year Georgia has calculated the graduation rate using a new formula – known as the adjusted cohort rate – now required by the U.S. Department of Education. The four-year adjusted cohort graduation rate defines the cohort based on when a student first becomes a freshman; it is calculated using the number of students who graduate within four years and includes adjustments for student transfers. In contrast, Georgia’s former graduation rate calculation defined the cohort upon graduation, which may have included students who took more than four years for graduate.

“While all states now calculate the graduation rate using the same formula, what each state requires to earn a diploma varies dramatically across the country,” Superintendent Barge said. “Georgia has one of the highest sets of standards in the country for students, so our graduation rate typically doesn’t look very good when compared to the nation — but it’s simply not an apples-to-apples comparison. What we’re ultimately concerned about in Georgia is that more and more students earn a high school diploma, and we’re seeing that happen each year.”

More Information:

State Graduation Rates

2014 – 72.5 percent

2013 – 71.8 percent

2012 – 69.7 percent

2011 – 67.4 percent


http://getschooled.blog.ajc.com/2014/10/30/georgia-doe-high-school-graduation-rate-rises/

gotalife
gotalife

The  pols in both parties will be fighting to get those unlimited bribes so what you want no longer matter.


Don't believe me, watch their actions after the election.

DownInAlbany
DownInAlbany

There the AJC goes experimenting with the new format.

Good grief

gotalife
gotalife

All the wealth goes to the top and so do all the bribes to pols.


The people no longer matter except for elections.


They will fix that next with a dictatorship.


But go ahead and keep licking their boots cons.


You enable it.

td1234
td1234

Looks like those scientist are revising their statements once again. 


"Ebola is a lot easier to catch than health officials have admitted — and can be contracted by contact with a doorknob contaminated by a sneeze from an infected person an hour or more before, experts told The Post Tuesday.

“If you are sniffling and sneezing, you produce microorganisms that can get on stuff in a room. If people touch them, they could be” infected, said Dr. Meryl Nass, of the Institute for Public Accuracy in Washington, DC.

Nass pointed to a poster the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention quietly released on its Web site saying the deadly virus can be spread through “droplets.”

“Droplet spread happens when germs traveling inside droplets that are coughed or sneezed from a sick person enter the eyes, nose or mouth of another person,” the poster states.

gotalife
gotalife

Lets take a look at the cons wish list.


Repeal Obamacare, the gop said no.


Cut spending, the gop said no.


Pass xl pipeline, already built in Canada.


Not do immigration, the gop said no.


So you cons are voting for that.


If you stayed true to your principles and wish list, you would stay home..

LeninTime
LeninTime

In a nice middle finger to Washington , and Barack Obama ... 


Clashes at Burkina Faso protest against leader's plan to extend rule

"Demonstrators in Bobo Dioulasso, Burkina Faso's second biggest town, 330 km (205 miles) to the southwest of the capital, pulled down a statue of Compaore, a witness said.

They left intact an adjacent statue of Libya's late leader Muammar Gaddafi, who was a popular figure in some poor African countries because of his generous cash donations." 


http://uk.mobile.reuters.com/article/idUKKBN0IH10920141028


Penses
Penses

@Nick_Danger


Does one get "extra credit" for throwing liberals into the discussion?

Penses
Penses

@fiftythreepercenter


This was one of the rarer columns in which Jay was somewhat even-handed, acknowledging the "sins" of his own party.

Nick_Danger
Nick_Danger

Good news! 

How does Georgia rank nationally?  I see that Superintendent Barge  some lengths to lower expectations.

But, at least the data are "directionally correct"!

DownInAlbany
DownInAlbany

It's worse than the ACA website.

Well, maybe I exaggerate. 

A little

Yes_Jesus_Can
Yes_Jesus_Can

@gotalife 

Bet the dictatorship would involve keeping common health records of everyone, AND telling them when and when not they can have treatment = 0bamacare. 

"Take a pill."  --Barack Obama.   

Penses
Penses

@td1234


Yet more lies from this administration. I knew they were fibbing when they said you could only transmit the disease when your were "symptomatic". I mean, that doesn't even make sense. No doubt one is much more likely to transmit the disease when he or she is vomiting all over the place and when the so-called "viral load" is highest. But to say one CAN'T catch it otherwise is an out and out lie.


Stop with the freaking lies, gubmint.

Yes_Jesus_Can
Yes_Jesus_Can

@td1234 

Note also TD, they are revising themselves on a FRIDAY, so that, for the purposes of the Bamster-cycle, which means for CNN, NY Times, the "news-cycle", they won't have to create so much of what Jay was talking about, umm..... you know...... "fear." 

Ebola IS a dangerous disease, which is why you see doctors in full-body protective gear. 

Nick_Danger
Nick_Danger

Dang old scientists, what with their hypotheses, and finding new facts, and changing things when the learn new facts!

Why can't they be more conservative!  Once they know something, they should just KNOW it, no matter WHAT other facts come to light!

gotalife
gotalife

@LeninTime Bribes and daffy was ripped to pieces by his own people after the Obama victory with zero US casualties. Thank you for bringing back up winning.

td1234
td1234

@Nick_Danger I think the article states these are NATIONAL calculations that all states have to use. 

Yes_Jesus_Can
Yes_Jesus_Can

@DownInAlbany @td1234 

Like I said the other day, "Bamster said it, I believe it, and that settles it." 

Borrowed phrase from a fundamentalist Christian, twisted and corrupted for a fundamentalist Bamster Bot. 

LeninTime
LeninTime

@gotalife @LeninTime


Gaddafi killed by his own people?  

Lol. 

Hardly.

More like he was hunted down and murdered in the street like a dog, after being sodomized and abused, by thugs in the hire of Washington (think perpetrators of Benghazi attack).

Nick_Danger
Nick_Danger

Yup - suggests that we oughta be able to compare between states more readily.

But then:

"““Georgia has one of the highest sets of standards in the country for students, so our graduation rate typically doesn’t look very good when compared to the nation — but it’s simply not an apples-to-apples comparison."

Kinda suggests the Supe knows we don't rank well nationally. 

But keep them scores rising!

Upon edit - no sarcasm - Georgia's potentially best asset for growth is a well-educated workforce.

gotalife
gotalife

@LeninTime @gotalife Winning a war with no US causalities is a huge accomplishment to free the Libyan people. What they do with their freedom is up to them. They could vote no to the Islamists like Tunisia.

LeninTime
LeninTime

@gotalife @LeninTime

Nice nihilistic attitude there. So destroying a country and leaving it in ruins is ok if there are no US casualties. 

Nothing about what Washington / NATO has done has "freed" the Libyan people. 

On the contrary.

stands_for_decibels
stands_for_decibels

@DownInAlbany @Yes_Jesus_Can @stands_for_decibels @td1234


It is very strange to read the thoughtful piece Jay gave us and interpret it to mean that Jay said there is literally nothing to fear about Ebola.


What should be feared are stupid-arse politicians making very bad decisions, that will ultimately make what is already a health crisis in one part of the world worse than it already is.


[on edit] and seriously, DiA: "STD"?


Really?

DownInAlbany
DownInAlbany

@stands_for_decibels  "thoughtful piece Jay gave us "

I don't think I've ever seen those words before.

In the same sentence, at least.

Look stands, we can play word games all day.  The point of Jay's thoughtful piece (that makes twice) was his opinion that "Surely, we can be brave enough to tolerate the infinitesimal odds of contracting Ebola here at home while others travel directly to the front lines to fight it on our behalf."

infinitesimal....

1. an indefinitely small quantity; a value approaching zero.

stands_for_decibels
stands_for_decibels

@DownInAlbany @stands_for_decibels


yeah, after I thought about it I realized it likely was just an oversight. No biggie.

Penses
Penses

@DownInAlbany @stands_for_decibels


This current outbreak of Ebola is 40 times more deadly than any other in modern history (and many think the deaths have been grossly under reported). And common sense alone would tell you that the "story" the CDC and the Obama administration has been telling us about the dangers of the disease is an attempt at deceit. Notable experts have said we simply don't know enough about this strain of the virus to be dogmatic. But I guess it is better to be politcially correct (or whatever) and sorry than safe.

stands_for_decibels
stands_for_decibels

@DownInAlbany @stands_for_decibels


My take upon reading the "infinitesimal" line is that while, obviously, our own chances of contracting the disease are very very very small, there's plenty to worry about if we screw up our response to this disease, in other parts of the world.

that is worrisome, and should give one pause.