And we’re not talking about dark money here. This is out-in-the-sunlight $$$.
From Daily Kos Elections:
• Senate: The Senate Leadership Fund, which is the main super PAC aligned with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and the GOP establishment, has made another round of TV ad reservations on behalf of three red-state Republicans:
IN-Sen: Mike Braun: $7.1 million
TN-Sen: Marsha Blackburn: $4.2 million
WV-Sen: Patrick Morrisey: $5 million
Indiana and West Virginia feature two vulnerable Democratic incumbents, Joe Donnelly and Joe Manchin, respectively. However, Tennessee’s inclusion raises an eyebrow, since it’s a Republican-held open seat in a state that backed Trump by a wide 61-35 margin. Nevertheless, reservations can be canceled if conditions change, and SLF will almost certainly expand the amounts it is spending as Election Day grows nearer.
It’s pretty disgusting, isn’t it? And this is before the Koch Bros weigh in with their promised $900 million to insure the purchase of GOP senate seats, just as they did in 2016 when their October surprise downed Evan Bayh, Russ Feingold and Jason Kander.
What’s the solution? Not yelling about how evil money is, and how Democratic Party entities and congresspeople who raise money for campaigns are equally evil to Republicans.
Because when a candidate runs a sleazy TV ad against his opponent — and has the bucks to run that ad over and over and over — his opponent must respond. Because if he doesn’t, the attack enters viewers’ minds and sits there, unquestioned.
So where does the money come from to respond to attack ads? Yes, from me, to be sure. I just sent twenty-five bucks each to a couple of deserving candidates who need it. I’m sure you did, too. And I’m sure our twenty-five bucks will be more than sufficient to answer Mitch McConnell’s PACS and the Koch Bros’s dark money, especially since each of us can legally donate $2700 to a candidate. And I’m sure each of us is fully donating to every candidate we like throughout the US. Which would come to at least $81,000 for senatorial candidates and $1,080,000 to around 400 House candidates (leaving out the ones who are running unopposed).
I’m being sarcastic.
Until Citizens United is taken apart or overturned, good candidates who are running in tight races require money. It’s disgusting but it’s reality.
Because while grass roots organizing sounds and feels morally superior, the grass roots (and my $25) aren’t enough to answer TV attack ads. And negative TV ads buy elections.