This record won't last long. Today Open Secrets unveiled their "Big Picture" analysis of spending in the 2010 election cycle and it revealed what most expected--historic amounts of money were spent.
From Open Secrets: "It was the most expensive midterm election in history. Spending by outside groups spiked in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission."
Given the atmosphere created by the Big Money Roberts Court 5's Citizens United decision, this analysis comes as no surprise. And 2012 promises to be even worse, with a presidential election and more and more shadowy groups emerging to influence the outcome of the election. President Obama has set a goal of raising $1 billion (yes, that's one billion!) for his campaign, and rest assured, the Republican field will try and match him him dollar for dollar. They likely won't, but spending by outside groups will go a long way to bridging the gap.
Sadly, it's going to get worse before it gets better. This campaign spending record will likely continue to be broken each cycle, flooding our elections with more and more money, with less and less of an idea of where much of it came from. And every two years or so we're going to start sounding like a broken record. Thanks Roberts Court!