photo illustration by Lucy McElroy
Super PACs cause ugly campaigning season
hen turning on the television, one is lucky to go five minutes without a political commercial and that is how it has been for months and will continue to be until the presidential election. Mitt Romney is not just an ordinary republican candidate, but he is a covetous corporate who has taken away the jobs of working Americans. What about Newt Gingrich who teamed up with Nancy Pelosi and co-sponsored a bill containing money for a United Nations program that supports China’s one-child policy? These commercials are seen by millions of viewers, altering the opinions of the voters. However, if the viewers will notice, these commercials are not ‘approved’ by the actual candidate. The mudslinging commercials are endorsed by the super PACs of the candidates. Super PACs are known as independent committees who raise unlimited amounts of money from different corporations, associations, and individuals and then turn the money around to blatantly advocate for or against political candidates, according to opensecrets.org. In several debates, candidates point out that they have no control over the information in the PACs advertisements. But by the time the candidate can refute the accusa-
tions, the opinions of the viewers and voters may have already been skewed. When will there be a clean election? A time where the country can look at the winning candidate and feel that the person truly deserves to be the next president? All of the bantering, arguing, and name-calling gives election time an ugly aura. At a time where the future seems bright,
Top Super Pacs of 2012 campaign
-Restore Our Future: Pro Romney with over $20,553,189 in independent expenditures -Winning Our Future: Pro Gingrich, with over $9,781,177 in independent expenditures -Endorse Liberty: Pro Paul with over $3,417,194 in independent expenditures - Red, White, and Blue: Pro Santorum with over $3,117,554 in independent expenditures information from opensecrets.org
and changes are coming, all the country can focus on is the negativity and fighting between the candidates. But in reality, the source for all of the arguments is when the candidates feel obligated to defend themselves. Imagine a nation calling you a dishonest, money stealing, corporate. The initial response would be to dispute the claims and
prove to the country the falseness of the ads. The ads that make a specific candidate appear to be the best suited for the job without slandering other candidates are a bit more effective; people would rather be shown why a specific candidate is better than another without having to listen to the name-calling- at least I would. Who would not pay attention to ads like, “Throughout History - The times have called for a certain type of man with a certain set of skills. 2012 is calling for the knowledge, leadership, intelligence and perspective of such a man. That man is Newt Gingrich.” This is the motto for pro-Gingrich Super PAC, Winning Our Future. It gives the appearance that Gingrich is a loyal, hardworking, and positive candidate to be the next president of the United States. Sure, the super PACs can be pro-Romney, pro-Santorum, and so on. But in the long run, the decision for the next president of this nation is in the hands of the voters. Why spend millions of dollars just to temporarily persuade the voters, when in a few months, the decision will be between the voters. Let the corporations and endorsers sit back one campaigning term and allow the candidates do the actual campaigning. By doing that, it would force the candidates to focus on the main issues at hand and not defending themselves.