Here’s a number from CNN’s Erin Burnett on OutFront: Super Pacs have spent $35 million already in just four primary states.
— From across the pond, in the article “Romney Super Pac’s damning ad: ‘Gingrich is no Ronald Reagan’,” part of a series titled “Series: Campaign ad watch 2012,” published January 26, 2012 in the UK’s The Guardian.
It is especially fascinating for those of us in the other 49 states (i.e., not in Florida) to see these ads. Would you like a quickie lesson in how Super Pacs — as well as all other forms of campaign fundraising — work? AND (!) do you want to find out how two opposing candidates have forged an anti-Pac pact to make their contest by and for the people, devoid of any big-bucks, slick, devastating ads. Well, here you go:
NOW. Here is the story of two candidates who have atypically agreed to disallow Super Pac ads from “polluting” their campaign, leaving it entirely up to voting constituents to pony up the financial support that both will need, badly, in order to prevail:
Comment: I am really torn about this race. Because I like both candidates.
I was thrilled when moderate Republican Scott Brown, despite all the odds against him as he traveled the state in a beat-up pick-up, became a sensation and defeated the snobbish Martha Coakley who acted as if her victory was a God-given right, just because she was a Democrat and just because she was going to inhabit the Senate seat of the recently-deceased Teddy Kennedy. Surely, Martha assumed, all the Massachusetts voters who’d reelected Teddy for decades, would never, ever vote for a — what? — a Republican? Are you kidding me?, she asked … oh hell, she probably didn’t even ask herself that question because her victory was 110% assured.
Out of the blue, Scott Brown began to win hearts and minds across the state of Massachusetts. Even the national media reported on the grassroots movement towards Brown. Which is how, over 3,000 miles away, I heard about Brown and began following the race — because all of a sudden it really WAS a race. The handsome man — who worked as a model to help pay for school — was no intellectual slouch either. He “received a Bachelors of Arts in History, cum laude from Tufts University in 1981 and a Juris Doctor from Boston College Law School in 1985,” reports Wikipedia.
Then the unthinkable happened, and Scott Brown actually won in January 2010. It was a shock that Teddy’s hallowed Senate seat could be “stolen” by a Republican.
There were also national implications. Brown’s victory signaled that voters were fed up with President Obama, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Leader Harry Reid’s partisanship and failures to do anything to help the economy recover and to aid the growing number of unemployed. Obama was handed a DREAM scenario with Democratic majorities in Congress, and he still didn’t get anything accomplished, so voters started switching to the Republican party in a somewhat desperate hope.
Elizabeth Warren is a highly appealing candidate, particularly with her expertise in consumer rights and her gift for explaining complex financial issues in a way that anyone can understand.
If I were a Massachusetts voter, I might have a tough time deciding for whom to vote. But I’d probably vote for Brown, given his careful attention to ensuring that his Senate votes reflect the needs and views of his Massachusetts constituents, as well as Brown’s long record of legislative work in the Massachusetts state House and Senate. Elizabeth Warren has none of these experiences in her distinguished background.
Well, this has veered off topic, but it is worth repeating that it is impressive that Brown and Warren have agreed to refuse the funding by Super Pacs.