News broke yesterday that a super PAC aligned with Mitt Romney supporters received a $1 million donation from a company that was created (and then dissolved) for the sole purpose of making said $1 million donation.
Chris Cillizza writes on WashingtonPost.com today that, “The reality of political campaigns is that where the money in a particular races comes from is of almost no interest to the average voter.”
I don’t think so.
Just 14 percent of Americans approve of the job Congress is doing. I’ll hazard a guess that if you ask why that is, a top reason will be that Americans believe Congress doesn’t work for them. They think their elected officials are on the take from any number of Washington, D.C. special interests.
There is no reason to expect, however, that concerns about a broad and rotten system will translate to a specific member’s loss at the polls unless the harm done by that member’s specific votes in favor of specific donors is made clear in the campaign dialogue.
And in general, like the two elections before it, 2010 was a change election. To say simply that complaining about "secret money," didn't work only means that it wasn’t big enough to counter the belief that incumbent Washington was already catering to special interests over ordinary Americans. The secret money was trumped by a broad belief that Congressional leaders weren’t working for them.
And, most simply, if the name behind this million-dollar donation doesn’t matter or doesn’t impact anyone, why go through such a process to keep it secret?
*Jeff Robinson is the political director here at Public Campaign Action Fund. This is his first post on the blog.
UPDATE: The donor has revealed himself. Now, that wasn't so hard was it?