The Federal Election Commission announced recently that the 2013 Presidential campaign, the first since the Supreme Court ruling that granted corporations freedom of political speech, was the most expensive in history.
According to the FEC, a cursory review of the 11 million pages of campaign funding-related documents from the 2012 election revealed that candidates, parties and outside groups spent a combined $7 billion to sway voters in the months leading up to Election Day.
Estimates from the agency show that the candidates spent $3.2 billion, making up almost half of the total spending. The political parties spent $2 billion, and the remaining $2.1 billion was reportedly spent by privately funded political action committees. Despite the Citizens United Supreme Court ruling that empowered super PACs in the 2012 election year, the FEC analysis shows that traditional PACs outspent super PACs, $1.2 billion to $950 million.
“It’s obviously only an estimate,” FEC Chairwoman Ellen Weintraub told POLITICO. “It’s really hard to come up with ‘the number.’”
President Barack Obama, who has long decried corporate funding in political campaigns, was called out by ProPublica in an article last month for reversing on promises to avoid accepting money from special interests.
From the article:
When President Obama told supporters that he would morph his campaign into a new nonprofit that would accept unlimited corporate donations, the announcement set off a familiar round of griping from campaign finance reformers.
The creation this month of Organizing for Action, which will promote the president’s second-term agenda, appears to be the fourth reversal by Obama on major money-in-politics issues since 2008.
The President, who embraced PAC funding during the campaign for a second term, has used the Citizens United ruling that he criticized to his benefit in shifting his campaign apparatus to a nonprofit group called Organizing for Action. The organization will use donations to push the President’s second-term agenda with television commercials and events as if the Presidential campaign never ended for the Obama camp.