Just the Beginning

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We knew that a lot of money would be spent in the 2012 elections. And a story today from Talking Points Memo (TPM) shows just how much (that we know of) has been spent, and how it's only going to get worse as we move forward in the campaign.

From the TPM story: 2012 marks the first presidential campaign involving so-called “super PACs” capable of making “independent expenditures” on behalf of candidates and raising unlimited sums of money from donors. The weak limits on “coordination” between super PACs and the candidates they’re supporting have pretty much been in name only: the super PACs are typically run by close allies of the presidential candidates.

All eyes are on the Iowa caucuses today, but there's one thing that nobody will be able to really see until well after Iowa and some other early primary states: who's funding all of these Super PAC's. Politico reported last week on how these "indepedent" groups have found a loophole that will allow them to keep their donors secret until well after scores of votes have been cast.

The airwaves in Iowa (and other early states) have already been flooded with unnaccountable attack ads from Super PAC's. And it's just the beginning. The 2012 election was already poised to break spending records, and in a post-Citizens United world, we're seeing that take place in a big way. Watch out New Hampshire and South Carolina. You're next!