Letter to the Editor:
It is so distressful to learn that yet another Super PAC, funded by Texas oil money, right wing conservatives and GOP operatives, has declared its intention to attack Virginia Congressman Jim Moran in the upcoming primary.
Haven’t we witnessed enough of these unaccountable Super PACs and their $100 million dollar expenditures funded by millionaire supporters during the ongoing GOP presidential primary? Restore Our Future Super PAC spent $9 million (of which $1.25 million was from one individual) just in negative ads against Newt Gingrich, in favor of candidate Mitt Romney; and the only thing keeping Gingrich’s campaign alive is another Super PAC – Winning Our Future. Winning Our Future is funded almost exclusively by casino owner Sheldon Adelson and family to the tune of $20 million. And this is only a primary; wait until the really big gun millionaires bring out their corporate checkbooks for the presidential election.
Thus it goes in the world of current American buy-your-candidate politics. Bad as it was before the Supreme Court’s flawed Citizen’s United decision that corporations with their treasury can act as individuals, without disclosure to public or shareholders, it is now immeasurably worse. Corporate money via individuals earlier flowed into political candidate campaigns for certain, but corporations themselves were banned, and there were strict amount limitations and requirements for public disclosure of individual donor names. Now the Super PAC process is unlimited and without transparency – a dangerous situation that seriously threatens our democratic electoral process, or what is left of it.
It would be naïve to hope for a return to the days of “one person-one vote” democracy and the move toward federally-funded presidential and state-funded campaigns, but one could always hope that what began in the 90’s as campaign finance reform could be revived and our more responsible elected officials could write legislation that would correct the more damaging errors of the Citizens United decision.
In the meantime, Virginians, Unite behind Congressman Jim Moran and against those who use their wealth and hide behind these Super PACs to attack him, and any of our local and state candidates.