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Hullabaloo


Saturday, December 31, 2011

 
How do you like me now?

by digby

Newtie, hoist by his own petard:

When Newt Gingrich opened up a sizable lead in Iowa last month, he was promptly broadsided by a torrent of negative Super PAC advertisements that now threaten to sink his once-promising campaign...

According to data collected by the Center for Responsive Politics, 264 Super PACs have raised more than $32 million and spent nearly $16 million in the 2012 election cycle so far.

The plurality of the funds spent in the GOP presidential primary have targeted Gingrich, whose surprising rise in the polls far surpassed the brief booms by other second-tier candidates, such as Michele Bachmann and Herman Cain...

The impact is clear: With the Iowa caucus only four days away, Gingrich has fallen into the second tier of candidates and currently sits in fifth place, according to an NBC-Marist poll released Friday.
[...]
But the former House Speaker doesn’t need to look too far back to find historical context for what plagues him: Gingrich was a vocal supporter of the 2010 Supreme Court decision in favor of Citizens United against the Federal Election Commission that opened the door for the unlimited spending the Super PACs that back his rivals are now using against him.

With his familiar grandiloquent flair, Gingrich at the time called the Supreme Court ruling “one of the most sophisticated, methodological and serious strategies I’ve seen in my years in looking at government.”

“We need to recognize the effect of virtually all efforts to limit political speech, which I believe are unconstitutional,” Gingrich said. “You would have a much freer and healthier system if you say any American can give any amount of after-tax income as long as they report it every night on the Internet so that everybody else can determine who is supporting who.”

The Restore Our Future (ROF) PAC reports its numbers on the Internet, and it supports Mitt Romney. ROF has spent more than $4 million this cycle in ads against Gingrich, and now seems as if it’s just piling on him: It spent more than $1.2 million this week alone, even though Gingrich no longer poses the threat he once did.
I don't think Newtie was serious about becoming president and he knows which side his Tiffany credit card is buttered on so he won't say anything. But he's got to feel like he was run over by a Mack truck. Live by Citizens United, die by Citizens United.

This New York Times article has more details. If this continues, there really won't be much point in having primaries. It basically adds up to very rich rich people in very expensive smoke filled rooms buying the nomination. How it affects the general remains to be seen but it's hard to imagine that it won't have an impact. All we can hope for is that these ads become so ubiquitous and the bombardment so annoying that people's subconscious rebels and they cancel themselves out. Then all that money will be a sort of economic stimulus and nothing more.


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