That's Really Super, Super PAC

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Feb. 14 2012 9:25 AM

That's Really Super, Super PAC

My new piece is what the kids like to call a "#slatepitch." It's widely accepted now that the post-Citizens United regime of candidate Super PACs is horrible, awful, no good, corrupting, probably bad for your scalp. But you can make a case that a Super PAC-less primary would have rewarded Mitt Romney, the guy with the deepest financial connections, and ended the primary early.

Add in the super PAC money and the advantage fades. Romney’s campaign had outspent Newt Gingrich’s campaign by a 7-2 margin and outspent Rick Santorum’s by a 19-1 margin. According to the Sunlight Foundation, which has tracked the super PACs all year, the Romney-centric Restore Our Future PAC outspent the pro-Gingrich Winning Our Future PAC only 2-1. It outspent the Santorum-philic Red, White and Blue fund by slightly better than 8-1, which was just what the PAC needed to spend to get its candidate into an Iowa tie.

Read on, and find two irritated campaign finance advocates wrestling with my devil's advocate question. And go read Ken Vogel on the transparent wackiness of the regime.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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