Here’s a measure of how much money has been unleashed in our political system by the Citizens United ruling and its progeny: The U.S. Senate race in North Carolina this year is the first campaign ever for that position to cross the $100 million mark in money spent.
From the Koch brothers and Art Pope to George Soros and Michael Bloomberg, wealthy donors are making North Carolina’s U.S. Senate race one of America’s first $100 million contests.
Outside groups continue to flood the state with ads and accusations, forcing Democratic U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan and Republican Thom Tillis to keep scrambling for dollars in the campaign’s final two weeks.
Money spent or committed in the race is poised to top $103 million, according to public records and interviews with donors. Three-quarters of it comes from party and interest groups. More than $22 million is “dark money” from groups that don’t disclose their donors.“It’s a stunning number, and it tells you two things,” says Larry Sabato, a University of Virginia political scientist. “That campaign finance is completely out of anybody’s control and North Carolina is a premier swing state.”
It tells us one more thing: That our political system is for sale to the highest bidder. The overwhelming majority of that money comes not from individuals but from huge corporate interests and billionaires. Could anyone really believe that the are doing that with no expectation of return? No, it’s an investment. And it’s a good one. If it wasn’t, they wouldn’t keep doing it. They aren’t in the business of making bad investments.