Cruz-linked Super PACs gush money at a record pace

REUTERS/Lane Hickenbottom
Super PACs created just this week to celebrate the official entry of Sen. Ted Cruz into the presidential race will have $31 million in the bank by Friday.

A brief follow-up to Tuesday’s piece suggesting that there are no longer any meaningful restrictions on money in politics:

Bloomberg news reports that Super PACs created just this week (to celebrate the official entry of Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, into the presidential race) will have $31 million in the bank by Friday. Personally, I have trouble keeping keeping track of how large a money-in-politics number has to be to be impressive, but the Bloombergers write:

Although super-PACs have radically changed the pace at which committees backing presidential candidates can raise money, the Cruz haul is remarkable. There are no known cases in which an operation backing a White House hopeful has collected this much money in less than a week.

Presumably many of the pro-Cruz millionaires will take advantage of the various loopholes available so that their identities need never be disclosed, so that the TV viewers in early primary and caucus states need never be told who is responsible for the highly illuminating “messaging” that will soon be educating them via their television screens.

And, to briefly respond to a couple of commenters in the thread under the previous piece who suggested that it only bothers me when Republicans benefit from the all-loophole regulatory regimen: Yes, Hillary Clinton will officially enter the race with with unimaginably vast resources at her disposal and the disposal of her allied (but not officially coordinated) PACs. The whole system, as evolved, is a blot on our democracy.

Thank you, U.S. Supreme Court for safeguarding our freedom of expression in this manner and making it impossible for Congress, even if it could summon the will to put an end to it, to put an end to it.

Comments (14)

  1. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 04/08/2015 - 12:59 pm.

    Citizens United

    It’s easy enough to look up which SC justices voted in favor of Citizens United, and who appointed them.
    This is clearly a Republican policy — they’re the ones who ultimately have the largest amount of anonymous money to throw into a political campaign.

  2. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 04/08/2015 - 01:25 pm.

    It’s a republican policy

    because apparently only republicans have bothered to read the Constitution.

    • Submitted by richard owens on 04/08/2015 - 01:58 pm.

      What do you mean by that Mr. Tester?

      Are you saying the Constitution determined speech to be money? (Or money to be speech?)

      Seriously, what do you mean about the Constitution?.

      • Submitted by Dennis Tester on 04/08/2015 - 02:13 pm.

        The 1st Amendment

        prohibits the making of any law “abridging the freedom of speech.” If the government places limits on the *means* of (political) speech (because political speech is what the 1st Amendment is all about) it is placing limits on political speech. If the government can tell a candidate how much money he may collect and spend on his political campaign, what’s to prevent the government from limiting the number of pages a newspaper may print or how much money it spends on their web site?

        Banning the government’s attempts to limit political speech includes banning limits on how that speech is delivered. Makes sense to me even though my party is consistently out-spent by the opposition. That’s what we call “principle.”

        • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 04/08/2015 - 02:23 pm.

          “Because political speech is what the 1st Amendment is all about

          Care to let us know where that notion comes from? Is there a secret part of the First Amendment we don’t know about?

        • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 04/08/2015 - 06:06 pm.

          The Constitution

          says that
          “…Congress shall make no law …. abridging the freedom of speech.”
          It cannot tell you WHAT you can say.
          For the first two centuries of this country’s existence this referred to the content of individual person’s statements.
          It did not refer to how much money corporations spent without revealing the sources of their money.
          The idea that a corporation is a person under the Constitution is a very recent invention.
          The Founders certainly were aware of corporations, but they assigned personal rights to the citizens who ere individual members of those corporations, not to the corporations themselves. The word ‘corporations’ cannot be found in the Constitution.

  3. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 04/08/2015 - 02:01 pm.

    Gushing money

    Mr. Tester’s comment is laughable, of course…

    Meanwhile, just as Lord Acton’s line about the corrupting influence of power seems to be borne out anew with every generation, it seems to me that money works in much the same way. In the current political context, money corrupts just as absolutely, though perhaps less overtly. In any case, money and power are so intertwined that they’re virtual Siamese twins.

    Were it not for the pernicious effects, the naivete expressed by the SCOTUS in the Citizens United case would be almost touching. Unfortunately, that naivete does little to protect the rights and interests of the citizenry. Corporations don’t care about democracy. Their operations are far easier when they can safely ignore the general public, and being able to buy the necessary political clout helps to ensure that they can do just that.

  4. Submitted by Tom Christensen on 04/08/2015 - 03:02 pm.

    A four year old could predict

    what the impact of the Citizens United decision would be. Citizens United is a grossly misnamed decision because it does anything but unite the citizens. It just moves the majority of citizens farther away from having any impact. Money speaks and your $20 won’t get anyone’s attention. Corruption is thriving.

  5. Submitted by Ron Gotzman on 04/08/2015 - 03:07 pm.

    From the Star Tribune and reprinted in MinnPost

    She is vowing to do all she can to help the DFL regain control of the Legislature and get President Obama re-elected. Her millions could also become a force in the fight over the constitutional amendment on the ballot next year to define marriage as a union of man and woman — not gay couples. Messinger, 62, contends GOP politicians are harming Minnesota. “We are not a quality-of-life state anymore,” she said. “Citizens need to get involved and say we don’t like what you are doing to our state.”

    • Submitted by Pat Berg on 04/08/2015 - 04:55 pm.

      Non sequitur

      Where in the heck did *this* come from?

      First of all, who is the “She” at the start of your comment? I’m assuming you’re referring to the “Messinger” who you reference later, but that is the first time “she” is mentioned on the page. So this reference comes out of the blue as far as I can tell.

      And “get President Obama re-elected”? You DO realize he’s in his second term and ineligible to run again, right? Another comment out of the blue.

      Did you comment on the wrong article by mistake?

      • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 04/08/2015 - 06:10 pm.

        no

        He cut-and-pasted the wrong article by mistake.
        It refers to statements made in October 2011 by Dayton’s ex-wife.
        I assume that he is trying to make a point about money and political communications.

  6. Submitted by Ron Gotzman on 04/08/2015 - 06:08 pm.

    $$

    It is about big money and politics. I guess DFL big money is pure while GOP money is dirty.

    • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 04/08/2015 - 06:55 pm.

      Accountability

      Politics has always been about money.
      Someone had to pay for the Founders’ ‘broadsides’.
      The issue is accountability; knowing WHO is providing the money for whose campaign.
      That is where the GOP is currently taking more liberties than the Democrats.
      The DFL, btw, is uniquely Minnesotian.

    • Submitted by Pat Berg on 04/09/2015 - 07:41 am.

      Again, please read the article

      From the article (with which this comment thread is actually associated):

      “And, to briefly respond to a couple of commenters in the thread under the previous piece who suggested that it only bothers me when Republicans benefit from the all-loophole regulatory regimen: Yes, Hillary Clinton will officially enter the race with with unimaginably vast resources at her disposal and the disposal of her allied (but not officially coordinated) PACs. The whole system, as evolved, is a blot on our democracy.”

      So Mr. Black made a *specific* point of mentioning that he finds this objectionable no matter WHICH party benefits. Be it Republican, Democratic, or (if in Minnesota as has been pointed out) DFL.

      It’s really helpful if you read the article all the way through before responding (and especially helpful if you read the *right* article to respond to).

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