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Old 11-11-2012, 03:11 PM  
Direckshun Direckshun is offline
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Karl Rove and Super PACs

Watching the election results, and how Karl Rove spent $300 million through his super PAC on candidates that all lost, it's easy to forgive the non-role super PACs seemed to have played in deciding the 2012 election.

The thing is, coming to that conclusion is short-sighted. It's incorrect.

The fact that there are organizations that raise hundreds of millions from billionaires to influence elections is an egregious abuse of inequality and, frankly, antidemocratic.

Allowing unlimited funding still gives wealthy people yet another political leg up on everybody else in getting their message out there.

Because donating tons and tons of dollars isn't necessarily about winning. It's about investing in a party that will fight for you when the politicking starts:

Quote:
Winning isn’t everything. Nor is it the only thing. When you spend tens of millions of dollars trying to influence an election, you obviously want your preferred candidate to win. But the binary outcome of the election isn’t the only thing you can, or want, to influence. Your money is also going to affect: the policy issues your candidate raises, the positions on those policies that he introduces into the discourse, what issues he chooses to attack his opponent on, the way the media frames these debates, and so on and so forth. If Sheldon Adelson’s goal was to make sure neither candidate questioned the use of drones or backed the Colorado pot initiative, well, mission accomplished. It’s not like the end goal here is to get a man into the office; the goal is ultimately to influence policy.
By spending $300 million on Republican candidates, Karl Rove and his billionaires own the GOP. They own them.

Because a political donation of, let's say, a million dollars, isn't just a one-time purchase. It's communicating that I could give you a million more in the future. Therefore the party that ends up reaping that benefit (and both parties now rely on this) must now slave away for your demands, lest they risk those nine-figure donation checks going to the other party.

Despite the horrific results of the 2012 elections for Karl Rove, he is still very much in control of the GOP. And the wealthy remain very much in control of both parties.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politi...y.html?hpid=z2

Karl Rove and his super PAC vow to press on
By Karen Tumulty,
Nov 10, 2012 11:58 PM EST

In the post-mortems of the 2012 election campaigns, it is already being written that the much-feared super PACs — those ostensibly independent, billionaire-funded outside organizations and their hundreds of millions in negative ads — turned out to be a bust.

At the center of the wreckage stands Karl Rove, the GOP strategist and supposed dark genius who for more than a decade has figured in the mythos of both parties.

With more than a little glee, Democrats and even some Republicans say the electoral defeat of so many candidates backed by his brainchild, a behemoth super PAC called American Crossroads, is proof that politics has finally passed Rove by.

It will be no surprise that Rove, not known for self-doubt, differs with that assessment.

“We did good things this year,” Rove said in an interview from California, where he had just given a speech with former Obama White House press secretary Robert Gibbs at an Association of Equipment Manufacturers convention. “But look, it’s the way of politics that you’re going to have some good years, and you’re going to have some bad years.”

As Rove sees it, the campaign proved that American Crossroads and its more secretive issue-advocacy arm, Crossroads GPS — which allows donors to remain anonymous — are here to stay.

Rove is pondering new missions for Crossroads to address weaknesses laid bare by the GOP’s back-to-back failures to win the White House and the fact that the party fell short when expected to win back the Senate.

Where until now it battled only in general elections and against Democrats, Crossroads is considering whether to start picking sides in Republican primaries. The idea would be to boost the candidate it deems most electable and avoid nominating the kind of flawed and extreme ones who cost the party what should otherwise have been easy Senate wins in Florida, Missouri and Indiana.

That, however, could put Crossroads at odds with the tea party and other groups that devote their energies to promoting the most ideologically pure contenders.

Crossroads also is likely to invest more deeply in organizations such as the Republican State Leadership Committee, which has been trying to build a more appealing GOP farm team by, among other things, recruiting Hispanic candidates to run for state-level office.

And it is raising money to run advertising shoring up the congressional Republicans during the upcoming negotiations to avert the “fiscal cliff.”

For Crossroads, 2012 was a $300 million learning experience.

“We’ve got to carefully examine, as we did after 2010, an after-action report looking at everything with fresh eyes and questioning and figuring out what worked and what didn’t work,” Rove said.

The failure of Crossroads to live up to expectations is not the only thing that has put Rove back into the news and revived the intrigue that surrounds a man whose seen and unseen hand works in so many places in politics.

In his role as an election-night pundit on Fox News, Rove got into a much-talked-about, on-air argument with the network when it decided to call Ohio for President Obama.

He also created a stir two days later, when he accused Obama’s campaign of “suppressing the vote,” using language that Democrats apply to measures such as voter ID laws that make it more cumbersome for people to cast ballots. Rove said he was referring to the denigration of Mitt Romney that made him less palatable to voters looking for an alternative to Obama.

Rove’s is the most famous name associated with Crossroads, but he said he receives no money from it, not even travel expenses, for his work as a strategist and fundraiser. Its day-to-day operations are run by its president, Steven Law.

Outside their circle, many of the performance reviews have been scathing.

The Sunlight Foundation, which tracks money in politics, calculated that only 6 percent of Crossroads money went to winners; by comparison, the Service Employees International Union, an old war horse of Democratic politics, had a 70 percent victory rate.

Celebrity real estate developer Donald Trump taunted on Twitter: “Congrats to @KarlRove on blowing $400 million this cycle. Every race @CrossroadsGPS ran ads in, the Republicans lost. What a waste of money.”

And Obama strategists David Axelrod said: “If I were one of those billionaires funding Crossroads and other organizations, I’d be wanting to talk to someone and asking where my refund is, because they didn’t get much for their money.”

However, Romney’s campaign manager, Matt Rhoades, insisted Crossroads and the pro-Romney super PAC Restore Our Future “had a very positive impact on leveling the playing field in key target states.”

“Obama for America had a strategy to put Gov. Romney and his campaign away early,” Rhoades wrote in an e-mail. “In looking back, it might have worked if these organizations hadn’t countered them in the spring and summer.”

Others in the Romney campaign, speaking on the condition of anonymity, were bitter that the super PACs didn’t do more to defend the Republican nominee and his business record, particularly in the late summer, when the campaign had run through its own primary-season funding.

“We didn’t have any air cover,” lamented one senior adviser.

That, Rove suggested, was the result of a missed signal.

The law forbids super PACs from coordinating with candidates, so it sets up an interaction that Rove compares to playing bridge, a game in which players make their moves based on cues from their partners.

“We can’t talk to the campaigns,” he said. “But we’ve got to understand what the candidate’s message is by closely following their public statements and campaign activities, do a lot of research to understand what the weaknesses of their opponents are, and read the tea leaves.”

In July, after Obama and his allies began pounding Romney’s record at the private equity firm Bain Capital, Crossroads spent $9.3 million on ads in nine states, in which a female narrator asked: “What happened to Barack Obama? The press and even Democrats say his attacks on Mitt Romney’s business record are misleading, unfair and untrue.”

The response from the Romney campaign? Radio silence, which the Crossroads team read to mean the strategists in Boston did not believe engaging on that issue was important. So Crossroads quit running the spots.

Another lapse, in the view of some, was Crossroads’s failure to air positive ads that would acquaint voters with Romney’s biography and his achievements.

“They ran basically the same ad over and over. They were working from a theory of the case that turned out to be extraordinarily flawed,” said Obama adviser Anita Dunn. “Their theory was that making it a referendum on Obama’s stewardship of the economy was all they had to do.”

Rove’s reputation for seeing the Next Big Thing in politics goes back to the late 1970s, when he arrived in Texas to set up a direct-mail operation. At the time, Republicans held only one statewide elected office; when he left in 2001, Republicans were in all 29 of them — and most of those officials had at one time or another been Rove’s clients.

When Rove started touting the prospects of George W. Bush in the late 1980s, the future governor and president was a failed oilman with little more than his famous last name going for him. Rove sold his business and moved to Washington with Bush, becoming so instrumental in his 2004 reelection that the president memorably dubbed him “the architect.”

The idea for Crossroads was born shortly after the 2008 election, when Rove wrote a column for the Wall Street Journal lamenting the fact that the Republicans had no equivalent to the alliance of organized labor and liberal interest groups that had spent $194 million on independent advertising for Democrats during the previous two years.

The next day, Rove recalled, he heard from former Republican chairman Ed Gillespie, who said, “Great idea. What are we going to do about it?”

As they talked to potential donors, Rove said, they realized “there was just a generalized sense that too much of this kind of activity was basically of, by and for the consultants. Donors said, ‘Consultants set these things up, pay a commission to fundraisers, hire themselves to do the work and pay themselves too much.’ ”

“Major donors said, ‘We write checks to these groups, but we’re not enthusiastic, given how they are going about their business,’ ” Rove said.

He and Gillespie also began sounding out the Senate Republican leadership, which recommended Law, a former aide to Republican leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), to run it. The two talked him into the job, though it meant that Law had to leave a far more lucrative post as general counsel at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

In January 2010, the Supreme Court lifted the restrictions on political contributions by corporations and unions, a move that campaign finance experts say also spawned the growth of super PACs, by giving a green light to big contributions from individuals. Rove insists that Crossroads could and would have happened even without that decision.

In April, Rove and Gillespie invited representatives of 18 conservative groups to a lunch of chicken pot pie at Rove’s Weaver Terrace home and unveiled their idea for a coordinated effort.

“You could tell there was a lot of skepticism,” Rove recalled. “It was palpable.”

That was until they met again the following month and, at Law’s suggestion, passed around their $45 million budget. They explained which Senate races they wanted to become involved in, their polling budget and the amount of advertising they could buy.

“It was, like, jaw dropping. You could just sort of see people saying, ‘What is going on?’ But it helped set in motion a wonderful collegial process,” Rove said.

In the 2010 midterm election, “we were able to make sure we weren’t running ads on top of each other. We were coordinating on message. We arrived at an agreed-upon list of congressional races in priority order,” he recalled.

They tried running a get-out-the-vote operation in Las Vegas that year, Rove said, but discovered they couldn’t do it as economically or efficiently as a political party could.

Rove boasts that Crossroads remains an efficient operation.

He noted it has a relatively small staff of 19 and said it pays its ad makers only 3 percent of the amount spent, the bottom in an industry where 10 and 15 percent fees used to be common. Ninety-five cents out of every dollar that Crossroads spends “goes onto the target,” he said.

And his wealthy donors? “They all went into this eyes wide open,” Rove said, “and their attitude is, beat them next time.”

Last edited by Direckshun; 11-11-2012 at 03:24 PM..
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Old 11-12-2012, 12:45 PM   #106
Direckshun Direckshun is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trndobrd View Post
There were two presidential candidates in 2008 who promised to accept the fundraising limits associated with public financing. One broke his promise, set records for fundraising and spending, out raised his opponent in Wall Street money, and won the presidency.

That's the new model.
Agreed.

Though... correct me if I'm wrong, but McCain refused public financing too.
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Old 11-12-2012, 12:45 PM   #107
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Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
Agreed.

Though... correct me if I'm wrong, but McCain refused public financing too.
I believe you are wrong.
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Old 11-12-2012, 12:49 PM   #108
Direckshun Direckshun is offline
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Hm.

http://factcheck.org/2008/06/mccain-...lic-financing/

Q: Did John McCain borrow money using public financing as collateral?

A: Lawyers for McCain and Fidelity & Trust Bank say he did not. The DNC says he did and should not have been allowed to withdraw from public financing during the primaries. The Federal Election Commission may have the final word.


FULL QUESTION

It was my understanding that John McCain took out a loan for the primary based on his participation in the fall campaign and the chair of the FEC ruled that he had to participate in the fall campaign even though he overspent in the primary. Maybe I’m not stating this properly. Can you respond?

FULL ANSWER


The full question isn’t stated correctly: Our reader is actually referring to circumstances surrounding Sen. John McCain’s participation in public financing for the primary campaign. Candidates that use public financing in campaigns must abide by various Federal Election Commission rules, which we explained in a previous Ask FactCheck, while those using private funds can raise and spend as much as they want.

In August 2007, McCain became the first presidential candidate of the 2007-2008 presidential campaign to be declared eligible for public financing by the FEC, although it wasn’t clear at the time whether his financially troubled campaign would actually use the money.

Then, late last year McCain’s campaign took out loans totaling $4 million (an initial $3 million loan and then another for $1 million) from the Maryland-based Fidelity & Trust Bank. The Washington Post reported that in order to secure the additional loan, McCain pledged "incoming but unprocessed contributions as collateral." According to the Post, when the bank asked what would happen if the campaign didn’t go well, Trevor Potter, McCain’s attorney, said McCain could "reapply in the future for federal matching funds, and would agree to use the FEC certifications for those funds as collateral." And the Associated Press reported that the loan agreement "did not include McCain’s right to the public funds," but that it did require him to reapply for public financing if he withdrew and lost in early primary contests.

Matthew S. Bergman and Scott E. Thomas, outside counsel for Fidelity & Trust, wrote a letter to Potter in late February, saying that public financing hadn’t been considered as collateral:

Quote:
Counsel for Fidelity & Trust: After the bank determined that adequate assurances of loan repayment existed without obtaining a pledge of any certification for matching funds, the loan terms were carefully drafted to exclude from the bank’s collateral any matching funds certification (so as to assure that the Committee (McCain campaign) retained the flexibility to withdraw from the program in accordance with the principles of Advisory Opinion 2003-35). The fact that there was no pledge of any certification for matching funds is further evidenced by the fact that the covenants were included within the loan documents that expressly required the Committee to pledge, in the future, and if (and only if) certain specified events occurred after the Committee were to withdraw from the program (such as the Committee’s re-entry into the program), future certifications of matching funds as collateral for the loan. It is our understanding that, to date, none of these events have occurred.
All of this had become an issue because earlier that month, on Feb. 6, McCain had written to the FEC, notifying it of his intent to withdraw from the matching funds program. McCain, who had done well in the early primaries and experienced a financial turnaround, said that no funds had been paid by the Department of the Treasury and the certification of funds technically had not been pledged as security for private financing, two important factors necessary for withdrawal. FEC rules say that if a candidate uses federal funds as collateral for a personal loan, then they are required to remain in the federal funding program. In response, FEC Chairman David Mason said that the commission would consider withdrawing the certification provided that McCain explained in further detail the conditions of the loan he received. Mason also notified McCain that the commission could not vote on the matter since it lacked a quorum at the time and that a formal decision would have to wait. But the McCain campaign said that it didn’t need the FEC’s approval to withdraw from public financing.

Further complicating matters for McCain, the Democratic National Committee has decided to file a lawsuit with the U.S. District Court to require the FEC to launch an investigation into whether McCain violated the conditions of the public funds program. The DNC says it believes he did. It filed a complaint back in February, but the FEC wasn’t able to act on the matter since, with only two members, the commission lacked a quorum (it usually has six members). The DNC argued that McCain could not "unilaterally withdraw" from the matching funds program because he had signed a binding agreement with the FEC and had to abide by the conditions of it, which included the approval of the FEC to withdraw. The DNC further argued that McCain "already violated a key condition for being let out of the program – pledging matching funds as collateral for a private loan." An additional concern is that McCain may have violated the conditions by spending more than the $54 million he was limited to under the program.

Will there be a ruling by the commission any time soon? On June 24, the Senate confirmed five commissioners to the FEC. This will allow the commission to return to operating status for the first time since the beginning of the year and make rulings on this and other campaign finance matters.
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Old 11-12-2012, 12:50 PM   #109
Direckshun Direckshun is offline
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Doesn't matter anyway. The argument I'm making stands whether McCain accepted public financing or not.
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Old 11-12-2012, 02:54 PM   #110
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Originally Posted by J Diddy View Post
I would consider controlling what's in the media is a free speech issue for sure, however that's not what I'm talking about. I am saying that one mans voice shouldn't be drowned out by a guy who's yelling louder.

Furthermore, this pining for the founding fathers and the way they run elections is entertaining. First the machine was really simple because white male protestant property owners got to participate and Second it's a little more evolved then that now.
If you wouldn't limit the voice of a person who owns a media outlet, why would you limit the voice of a person who just wants to buy a little piece of it?

Our constitution has a built-in capability to evolve with the times. When people wanted to outlaw alcohol, they passed an amendment (18th). A few years later when people wanted to revoke that amendment, they passed another one (21st). If you want to revoke the 1st amendment or the part of it that deals with free speech, you should convince enough people to pass a 28th amendment doing so.
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Old 11-12-2012, 02:56 PM   #111
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Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
I don't think you know what a loophole is. Nor how the first amendment works.
I think I understand both well enough.
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Old 11-12-2012, 02:58 PM   #112
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If you had the government paying for campaigns, , you would have to do it for all of them. Would you really want the taxpayers money going to the Goat ****er Party or Communitst Party or the Christian Party or the Muslim Party, every group would want in on the action.
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Old 11-12-2012, 03:10 PM   #113
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
If you wouldn't limit the voice of a person who owns a media outlet, why would you limit the voice of a person who just wants to buy a little piece of it?

Our constitution has a built-in capability to evolve with the times. When people wanted to outlaw alcohol, they passed an amendment (18th). A few years later when people wanted to revoke that amendment, they passed another one (21st). If you want to revoke the 1st amendment or the part of it that deals with free speech, you should convince enough people to pass a 28th amendment doing so.
One problem with your theory is that not all speech is free. You are not allowed to harm another with your speech. In this case it harms all.
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Old 11-12-2012, 03:28 PM   #114
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Originally Posted by J Diddy View Post
One problem with your theory is that not all speech is free. You are not allowed to harm another with your speech. In this case it harms all.
Like I said, that's an un-American perspective.
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Old 11-12-2012, 03:37 PM   #115
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Like I said, that's an un-American perspective.
Lol, okay.
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Old 11-12-2012, 04:38 PM   #116
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Snore.
Why? That's exactly what the outcome of doing what you suggest will do.


Quote:
So, no. You don't have a response to the OP.
Yes, I agree that donating to a particular party or candidate is investing in them. It's called free speech.

And I've already addressed this multiple times with you. The electorate spoke and this time evidently they didn't agree with the message all these rich people were trying to sell.

The system worked. That's something I've said multiple times and you haven't addressed.
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Old 11-12-2012, 06:23 PM   #117
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If you had the government paying for campaigns, , you would have to do it for all of them. Would you really want the taxpayers money going to the Goat ****er Party or Communitst Party or the Christian Party or the Muslim Party, every group would want in on the action.
You'd have to qualify for public funds.
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Old 11-12-2012, 06:35 PM   #118
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Originally Posted by whoman69 View Post
You'd have to qualify for public funds.
Great idea. We can have the government decide how to dole out political speech licenses. What could go wrong?
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Old 11-12-2012, 06:44 PM   #119
BucEyedPea BucEyedPea is offline
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One problem with your theory is that not all speech is free. You are not allowed to harm another with your speech. In this case it harms all.
Except that's your opinion it harms all. Political speech is what the Framers were really protecting. Not ruining a private citizen's reputation with false reports whereby they lose work or something. That's never been protected. You can read the cases on where the line is drawn. Political speech is protected speech whether you think it's harmful or not.
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Old 11-12-2012, 06:46 PM   #120
BucEyedPea BucEyedPea is offline
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Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
Like I said, that's an un-American perspective.
It's the type of thing control ideologies love most though.
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