Alec Hamilton, Assistant Producer, WNYC News
Alec Hamilton is an Assistant Producer in the WNYC newsroom. She produces Morning Edition and starts her work day very, very early.
Well, here we go.
A year after the Citizens United v. Federal Election ruling severely relaxed any prohibitions on the use of corporate and union money in elections, the implication of that ruling for the 2012 elections is becoming evident.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry is receiving some serious dollars from a super PAC called Make Us Great Again, who plan to spend $55 million in the Republican primary on getting Perry the nomination. Perry will also receive support from super PACs Veterans for Rick Perry and Jobs for Vets.
Meanwhile the same week as Perry’s PAC’s plan (say it ten times fast!) was announced, Karl Rove’s uber-weapon super PAC American Crossroads and its nonprofit arm, Crossroads GPS, let it be known that they’d be dropping $240 million on the race in 2012.
For some historical perspective, $240 million is nearly double the current record for spending by an independent political committee --$131 million, spent by Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour 's Republican Governors Association in the 2010 cycle.
Perry isn’t the only candidates moneying up their bid with super PACs. Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has his own super PAC backing his presidential bid, Restore Our Future. Rep. Michele Bachmann is getting support from Citizens for a Working America; Ron Paul from Revolution PAC; and Jon Huntsman from Our Destiny
President Obama, for his part, gets support from the super PAC Priorities USA.
Even congressional candidates are getting in on the candidate super PACs action. This month also saw the creation of the Strong Utah super PAC, which plans to spend on the reelection campaign of Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch. While this particular PAC is supporting a Republican, they’re doing it to help deflect a targeting he is receiving from a conservative group who finds Hatch not conservative enough.