Political Animal


November 10, 2012 1:08 PM The Bottomless Money Pit May have Hurt Republicans

By Ryan Cooper

Like most liberals, I had some fairly grim thoughts about the shadowy bunch of conservative SuperPACs that were supposedly going to deluge the 2012 race in a sea of money and finally make it clear that this country has evolved into an out-and-out plutocracy, a country for sale to the highest bidder. I thought perhaps Obama would win, but only by paying fealty to the big dollar people in his own party.

Now, the president did raise an enormous amount of money. But one thing I did not expect was that Republican operatives might see those enormous wads of cash, and start thinking more about lining their own pockets than making their man win. On RedState, of all places, there’s a damning investigation of why Romney’s vaunted ground game smartphone app was a big airball:

So what caused the breakdown and why didn’t it get fixed in time? Well according to sources who worked closely with the program, the blame is at the feet of consultants.
Specifically Targeted Victory, FLS Connect, and The Stevens and Schriefer Group. While the Romney campaign did work with other consultants, they were apparently not part of the problem.
They say that the truth is the consultants essentially used the Romney campaign as a money making scheme, forcing employees to spin false data as truth in order to paint a rosy picture of a successful campaign as a form of job security.

Josh Marshall compiled reports right before the election of big ad buys in non swing states, possibly from SuperPACs spending money on their friends’ TV station, while Karl Rove is “scrambling” to defend himself from his big donors who want a scalp for donating $300 million and getting nothing.

We live an an age of inequality and concentrated wealth not seen since the Gilded Age. Perhaps I’m romanticizing the past, but those days a lot more of that wealth was the result of actual building and business, not just financial parasitism. Sure, there was the stock-watering Jay Gould, but there was also Carnegie, Rockefeller, and Vanderbilt. Seems plausible that Romney-style Wall Street titans who made billions (and aquired egos to match) on debt-fueled looting would more easily get suckered like this.

Whatever the case, it seems that monumental pile of money spent on this election was not an unqualified poison for our society. In the end, at least to some degree, the truth will out. And that is an encouraging thought.


Ryan Cooper is a National Correspondent at The Week, and a former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @ryanlcooper


  • James E. Powell on November 10, 2012 2:29 PM:

    I am surprised and a little disturbed by the confidence expressed by the left that the SuperPAC money didn't matter, or didn't make a difference. It seems to me that it made differences all over the electoral map. In some cases, the consequences are large and long-lasting.

    Without SuperPAC money, Scott Walker goes down.

    Without SuperPAC money, what would the statehouses and state legislatures look like?

    Without SuperPAC money, the presidential election is never close. Instead of defending Ohio & Virginia, the president would have been trying to make gains in Texas and Georgia.

    Without SuperPAC money, the Republicans would have spent the last six months fighting to hold onto the house.

    And the issues and range of the political debate would have been very different.

    Do not get comfortable with Billionaire Boys Club campaigns. They will be back in 2014, they will be pushing the same agendas, and they will be more effective. The ruling class never goes away, never gives up. Never.

  • Felicia on November 10, 2012 2:29 PM:

    I often wondered if Rove was lining the bottom of his pockets because I couldn't see where his superPacs were doing anything. Sure they put out a few ads, but other than that, what else did they do?

  • c u n d gulag on November 10, 2012 2:33 PM:

    There's little better than when the grifters themselves, get grifted.

    Oh, and Mitt, while you were talking about us "moochers" in the public, you forgot to look out for the "moochers" in your party.
    You got scammed, buddy!

    And Wingnut Welfare, and Conservatives who live off of it, are both the pinnacle of "moocherism."

    Who's a bigger moocher than Ann Coulter, or Radio Rushwanda, or Unibrow, or O'Rally?
    What have they ever made?

    And, my favorite bit of irony:
    What no one’s mentioned in this Conservative Fiasco, is the supposed expertise of the Republican Candidates, and how that was all BS.

    Mitt was supposedly the “Efficiency Expert,” who’d come in, look at a companies books, do some math, and figured out how to turn a profit.

    And what about Ryan – if he’s such a numbers geek and policy wonk, as the meme goes, how did HE miss all of the polls that were accurate?
    What, Pualie, going to the NY Times and looking up Nate Silver's "538" site would give you gay coodies?

    That fairy tale of ‘The Efficiency Expert Meets the Policy Wonk” was finally fractured – by reality. And all of the clapping for ‘Tinker’Mitt and Ryan’Bell' couldn’t win the election for them.

    Neither the Efficiency Expert, nor the numbers wonk, knew how to properly interpret numbers.

    Instead, they listened to Nooners, and George Will, and Charled Douchehammer, and FOX and Fiends (sic), and Karl Rove.
    And all of their's and Rove’s math had, as usual, nothing to do with REAL math.
    I suspect that instead of using math, they were all using meth.

  • Bobbo on November 10, 2012 2:38 PM:

    You can't cheat an honest man.

  • schtick on November 10, 2012 2:44 PM:

    I'm with James. They'll be back with better lies and their superpacs while the dems will fall asleep again in 2014.

  • srw3 on November 10, 2012 2:55 PM:

    Whatever the case, it seems that monumental pile of money spent on this election was not an unqualified poison for our society.

    It does make us the laughingstock of the developed world. It's just like health care. We pay more than double for elections that produce worse results, like the politicization of voting registration (repub Secretaries of State) and huge multi hour lines to vote. It looked like an election in a banana republic.

  • bleh on November 10, 2012 3:31 PM:

    ...those days a lot more of that wealth was the result of actual building and business, not just financial parasitism

    Not to harsh the general postorgasmic mellow, but in "those days" the "actual building" was on the backs of laborers who lived in poverty, worked in appallingly hazardous conditions, and had neither financial nor medical security in retirement. Many of those fortunes were built on actual parasitism, not just financial parasitism. They may have worn their nobility a little more graciously than modern plutocrats, but they acquired it in ways every bit as bad, and worse.

  • Doug on November 10, 2012 4:00 PM:

    Why should we expect a DIFFERENT result from PACs spending money on state and local elections than has happened in this national election?
    Contesting elections will remain an uphill battle for us until the MSM begins to do what it's supposed to: provide reportage based on facts and not from some "fear" of being called names. Not necessarily by the Republicans, but more likely by fellow attendees at social gatherings.
    Oh, and laziness, don't forget laziness...

  • Neildsmith on November 10, 2012 4:01 PM:

    That is hysterically funny! If ever there was a metaphor for what America has become it is this statement: "They say that the truth is the consultants essentially used the Romney campaign as a money making scheme..."

    Wow. Just wow.

  • Robert Waldmann on November 10, 2012 4:12 PM:

    Not just Red State of all places. Also Big Government
    and Ace of Spades. http://ace.mu.nu/archives/334783.php

    Everything changed Tuesday night. Before they found it necessary to talk up the Romney team for the momentum narrative. Before they found it pleasant to talk up the Romney team, because it enforced their hope (certainty really) of victory. Now they find it necessary to blame the messenger's messengers so they don't have to admit that the real real America rejects their message.

    Some other encouraging thoughts -- the returns to advertising diminish too. I live in Italy, but I kept reading assertions that someone was going to scream if he or she heard on more political ad. Advertisements can be very irritating and, if the ad is irritating, the I'm Mitt Romney (or Barack Obama) and I approved this advertisement is not the way to earn favor. Money has a powerful effect on public opinion, but that doesn't mean that the effect goes to infinity as the money spent goes to infinity.

    Democracy saved by the web. Look a large part of the way the websurf your way to victory scam worked was that Obama 08 demonstrated the power of the web. It has made it convenient for huge numbers of ordinary people to give modest sums of money. Obama raised an absurd amount of money. He didn't have to abase himself to rich people (I'm not sure he didn't do so, just sure he didn't have to). Note to Musk, private space travel is cool, but I suspect that PayPal is much more important.

    It's hard to cheat an honest man. The Republican party is a giant scam -- their core competency is to convince working class voters that those voters are voting in their own selfish economic interests when those voters are voting against their own selfish economic interests. They have been very successful, but honest people who genuinely believe that the Party is good for the country are reluctant to rely on such means. In contrast, crooks don't mind at all. Crooks don't make the best employees.

    Oh from DeLong (where I got the links) "As David Mamet famously said, 'If you’re in the con game and you don’t know who the mark is … you’re the mark.' "

  • millekat on November 10, 2012 4:25 PM:

    >They say that the truth is the consultants essentially used the Romney campaign as a money making scheme..."

    Maybe this WAS really "The Producers" and Rove will make it to Rio.

    I love thinking that Nathan Lane is gonna play him in the movie.

  • jjm on November 10, 2012 4:58 PM:

    Same thing happened to Meg Whitman; her consultants clearly ripped her off while flattering her ego. Business people, hah!

  • RepubAnon on November 10, 2012 5:04 PM:

    "My objects all sublime;
    I shall achieve in time;
    To let the punishment fit the crime - the punishment fit the crime!"
    (The Mikado - Gilbert & Sullivan.)

    It is poetic justice for this fate to befall the party of "I've got mine - screw you", the party funded by folks that cash in big by taking actions that produce fat bonus checks in the short run but long-term disaster for their businesses. "Hoist by their own petard" sums it up nicely.

  • TCinLA on November 10, 2012 5:12 PM:

    A Barney Frank said to Rachel Maddow on Thursday: had they been using the 2008 congressional districts, the Democrats would have taken back the House. The failure of Democrats to show up at the polls in 2010 gave the Republicans the power in state legislatures to change the districts, and so the Tea Parties that won in marginal districts are now in strong Republican districts. My nephew who lives in Pittsburgh told me this morning that he now understands why I'd been telling him to vote in non-presidential elections - he went to his polling place and discovered his previously-blue congressional district was now the fief of a Tea Party fanatic. Things are going to stay that way till 2020, and will only change then if Democrats get out and vote in 2014, 2016 and 2018 in the kind of numbers that showed up in 2012, and they're going to have to do it without "enthusiasm" because not a lot is going to get done with the far right House sitting there. So our side is going to have to learn to be as committed as The Enemy is. Given that the average Democratic voter is about as politically aware as a slug (and I am including smart folks like my nephew, who now admits it's time to listen to the old man about how politics works), this is going to take a lot of work.

    So even if there hadn't been Super PACs, campaigning in the House races was not going to get us 25 seats regardless. And for all Democrats sitting around wishing things could have been different this year, if they want to find the source of their frustration, go to the bathroom and look in the mirror. If you didn't vote in 2010 because Obama didn't get you your pony yet and you were "disappointed," well... YOU ARE THE PROBLEM!

    It does bring a smile to my face to realize the con man got conned, and that Romney was nothing but a mark.

    As to all that money, if you divide by 4, you have the "effectiveness" level of that money, because they had to pay 4X the rate the campaigns got (they are legally required to be given the "best rate" by the TV stations, and the PACs have to pay prime time market rates). So if one were to assume Rove actually spent $300 million (likely less than half of that went to actual work, the rest was fees and commissions and "overhead"), he only got a 25% return in "political bang for the buck."

    So tough luck for Meyer Lansky, er, I mean Sheldon Addledson, and the rest of the idiots. It's going to be fun watching Addledson get separated from his money, which won't be able to visit him in jail, and I doubt his Israeli buddies will be willing to give him "sanctuary," no matter how many Der Sturmer "newspapers" he gave them or how many apartment buildings he built on stolen land.

  • Neildsmith on November 10, 2012 5:17 PM:

    TCinLA is correct... Those who sat out 2010 have a lot to answer for. Even after this win, I'm not inclined to support bailing the American people out of this mess. 55 to 60 million people voted for Romney last Tuesday. They, their kids, and their elderly parents can all go to hell for all I care.

  • Mimikatz on November 10, 2012 5:27 PM:

    So the grifters scammed the candidates and the money men. No one could have foreseen that one. Even Ann Coulter commented at one point that the GOP had too many grifters in its ranks.

    If people in DC/NY could get their heads out of their anatomy more often long enough to look at California they would have noticed that rich people spending huge sums to buy elections with ads really, really irritates people (see 2010, Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina) and racist and nativist appeals really turns off minorities of all stripes (Pete Wilson's proposition in 1994 and the subsequent demise of the CA-GOP).

    The lesson of 2012 is that disrespecting women and treating them like children when they are a majority of the electorate and a majority of the workforce is also really stupid. Let's hope they don't learn that lesson either.

    But we have to relearn the lessons of 2006 and 2010, which are to revive the Secretary of State Project, pass federal voting rights bills and above all organize as hard in 2014 so it looks like 1998 or 2006 not 2010.

  • stratplayer on November 10, 2012 5:34 PM:

    The Republican Party has a permanent lock on the asshole demographic. Asshole consultants are drawn to the Republicans just as asshole voters are. This is what assholes do to one another.

  • dalloway on November 10, 2012 5:58 PM:

    What's the old saying? There is no honor among thieves... Isn't it deliciously ironic that the Republican party is crumbling from within much the same way the old Soviet Union did?

  • AbbeFaria on November 10, 2012 6:08 PM:

    But why are the Republicans surprised at this? The wanted the Bain man to carry their banner. Bain was all about making piles of money and screwing people. Seems perfectly consistent to me.

  • c u n d gulag on November 10, 2012 6:25 PM:

    Nathan Lane is too good looking, and not evil enough to play the part.

    Instead, I'd prefer having Rove in jail, singing "Prisoners of Love!"

    Hopefully, sharing a cell with a 380lb, Gay African American mass murderering cannibal, who thinks turd blossoms are a delicacy to be ingested with a fine Chianti and some fava beans.

  • PTate in MN on November 10, 2012 6:29 PM:

    Agree 100% with James E. Powell & others that we were lucky this time. The billionaires got scammed, but next time, they'll be more shrewd, and their money will be better spent. Watch the state elections, school boards and judgeships carefully, they'll be buying influence down ticket. Without a presidential election to motivate the electorate, it could 2010 again, god help us. If conservatives gain control of enough state houses, they could produce a states vs feds battle like the USA has never seen.

    What I learned this year was that roughly 15% of the population are suggestible fools who are easily swayed by advertising. Another 25% are conservatives who enjoy delusions of persecution. True democracy is going face long odds as long as Citizen's United stands.

  • JoyceH on November 10, 2012 6:37 PM:

    I live in a swing state, and trust me, the superpacs did more than a 'few ads'. They did a whole boatload of ads, which ran con. stant. ly. Fortunately, the right wing superpac ads were almost universally LAME.

  • Kathryn on November 10, 2012 6:41 PM:

    Is anybody surprised that outsourcing campaign functions such as voter registration, Religious Outreach and GOTV to paid consultants who, in turn, hire minimum wage (I would think) workers to do the leg work resulted in pocket lining and dishonesty by the top level big cheeses? Romney was not an inspirational candidate, doubt that they were swamped with people willing to give hours of their time to volunteer and assume responsibility for facets of the campaign that needed consistent work. Plus, it would appear, that CEO Romney could have used a community organizer to shape things up.

    I can say from experience that the Obama campaign in Virginia was a well oiled, efficient operation with dedicated volunteers and only the field organizer level receiving a salary. The field organizer in my district worked 12 hour days minimum every day. The last four days of GOTV were marathons for all of us with canvassers from District of Columbia, Maryland and nearby Va. Offices flooding our precincts to knock on doors, It was tiring but inspiring, volunteers of all ages, some using canes, one with a leg brace, two who drove from Brooklyn. This level of organization and enthusiasm and selfless hard work is what kept the Old Dominion blue, you can't pay for that or outsource that as Romney/Ryan found out.

  • Kathryn on November 10, 2012 6:47 PM:

    @ Joyce,,,.boy are you right, Rove ads in particular were extremely lame, cartoonish really.

  • Daddy Love on November 10, 2012 7:23 PM:

    I know I'm not first to say this, but we've known for at least a decade that the GOP has turned into a party of petty crooks, grifters, and con men. Hell, look at Mitt Romney!

  • bluestatedon on November 10, 2012 7:33 PM:

    If some erstwhile Democrat tells me in 2012 that he's disappointed in Obama and is going to stay home on election day to "teach the Dems a lesson" I think I will be forced to kick him squarely in the balls.

  • bluestatedon on November 10, 2012 7:35 PM:

    argh I mean 2014. I'm still kicking him the nuts.

  • N.Wells on November 10, 2012 8:18 PM:

    I'd say the wealthy got a lot for their money. Romney probably added 20-25 points over what the republicans deserved to get absent any spending. Clearly, the lesson they should learn is that next time they need even more money. Why, as an Ohioan, I was perhaps a mere 5000 or so more ads from breaking and doing something rash like voting for Romney. Two or three days more and I might have been done for.

    More seriously, we dodged a bullet. If the R's get better candidates, spend more wisely, and figure out how to run a ground game, we'll have problems. We missed the opportunity to make that a wave election with respect to the House and state legislatures. That was certainly an uphill battle against the effects of redistricting, but I don't recall an election better suited to claiming that all republicans are extremists and should be swept out across the board, and I didn't see us making that argument effectively and broadly enough. Nearly everything that I saw was focussed on individual races, from the presidential level on down. We have a big picture here of needing to elect a full team in order to defeat extraordinarily dangerous Republican extremism, and that picture is simple, compelling, and pretty much self-evident: many voters were aware of it, but Dems should have exploited it much more extensively. "We've got a great record on the economy and national security: if you want to keep that, then you have to elect our team."

    Celebration is great, but we need to evaluate what didn't work for us, and keep campaign structures active for the 2014 elections.

  • Robert on November 10, 2012 9:11 PM:

    I think we only glimpsed the tip of the iceberg of the machinations of the Kochs and others...State Houses and Governorships are the prize here...control the ballot box...ALEC is still kkkicking...all the other players are going to learn from their mistakes...we must pay attention...

  • PEA on November 10, 2012 9:21 PM:

    The LA Times had a piece on Romney recently which noted that he hired a lot of his family and friends (unnamed) to work for his campaign -- so evidently a lot of the money donated by the Billionaires went to them. I understand the urge to hire people you can trust, but it sort of feels like typical Romney: not only did he expect to win but he arranged it so that his family & friends could make out like bandits whether he won or not. Might be interesting to see just how much they got and what was delivered.

  • Mark on November 10, 2012 9:32 PM:

    So they outsourced their campaign and were surprised that all it did was line the pockets of the consultants.
    Delicious Irony. No doubt it will be lost on them, but karma is a B****

  • Hue and Cry on November 10, 2012 10:53 PM:

    Very interesting developments and exposures, especially the fleecing by consultants and the cult-like nature of the Romney campaign interior.
    It is particularly fascinating reading the reactionary posts and thoughts of the commenters on redstate.org and how they now despise Fox News, Rove, and the like.
    It is delicious.

  • best of the web & good night on November 10, 2012 11:48 PM:

    Some of the best comments that reflect the terrible Republican campaign and Romney's ultimately very poor skills:

    "The bitter irony of this entire endeavor was that a supposedly small government candidate gutted the local structure of GOTV efforts in favor of a centralized, faceless organization in a far off place (in this case, their Boston headquarters). Wrap your head around that."

    "The unbelievable blunders by some of the republican candidates and the above described incompetence of the Romney team makes we wonder if they really deserved to win. A lot of these Romney team members would have gotten jobs in his administration and from this display of stupidity in wonder if they were in any way ready to run the country."

    "I can sleep better at nights knowing we still have a competent manager in the White House.

    "Well, imagine the mess that would have ensued if Romney had been given responsibility for running a bigger operation, like the USA. I guess we can consider ORCA as the beta version of that experiment, which I guess will never go into production now."

    "....we are a center left country now. It's a country that is socially liberal and the Republican party is going to have a very difficult time capturing the Presidency anytime soon."

    "The next Republican president will be a social liberal by todays standards. He will support gay marriage. The year will be 2024."

  • Varecia on November 11, 2012 1:33 AM:

    Kathryn: "...The last four days of GOTV were marathons for all of us with canvassers from District of Columbia, Maryland and nearby Va. Offices flooding our precincts to knock on doors, It was tiring but inspiring, volunteers of all ages, some using canes, one with a leg brace, two who drove from Brooklyn. This level of organization and enthusiasm and selfless hard work is what kept the Old Dominion blue, you can't pay for that or outsource that as Romney/Ryan found out..."

    Indeed. And can anyone imagine the typical conservative campaign volunteer, with all their prejudices and paranoia, willing to canvass into the neighborhoods and engage with those they have such fear of and disdain for? Really?

  • Anonymous on November 11, 2012 3:13 AM:

    From the start of his campaigning, I wondered whether Mitt, who refused to put in a dime of his money this time after wasting $40 million of it last time, was calculating how to get some of that money back.

    If PEA on November 10, 2012 9:21 PM: is right, and that "not only did he expect to win but he arranged it so that his family & friends could make out like bandits whether he won or not," my question is partially answered. He was scamming the billionaires, who have to be among the dumbest of dumb clucks.

  • Equal Opportunity Cynic on November 11, 2012 3:36 AM:

    It hurt them in a far more fundamental way. Just suppose that what now passes for conventional wisdom among right-wing lunatics is true, that they really did choose an unprincipled panderer when a committed conservative could have done better. Then they should be asking: How the hell did we pick this guy? And since no one really passionately was pulling for Romney in the primaries except Romney, you get to the real answer that he threw tons of money into attack ads. Are you (O ye conservative zealots) really happy with that outcome?

    Now, I don't think that a more committed, more lunatic conservative would have done better, although Romney was trying to pretend to both be one and not be one anyway. But in a future election, it's very plausible that they might end up nominating not the best candidate but the richest. Serves them right for giving us Citizens United.

  • Roddy McCorley on November 11, 2012 5:50 AM:

    Perhaps I’m romanticizing the past, but those days a lot more of that wealth was the result of actual building and business, not just financial parasitism.

    Nope. You are not romanticizing the past at all. Studs Terkel of all people raised pretty much that very same point when the decade rolled over from the 80s to the 90s. The Robber Barons for all their faults made things. He then contrasted that with their modern counterparts who made money by moving money around. He specifically mentioned one Donald Trump, as I recall.

  • DAY on November 11, 2012 7:54 AM:

    Well, I'm a little late to this picnic, but I do see one juicy plum still left on the platter:
    It ain't how much money you spend, it is HOW you spend it.

    The R's don't much like anyone Not Like Them, and they campaign from an antiseptic distance- with mailers and TV ads. No need to rub elbows with the "47%".

    The D's- younger, more diverse, LOVE to get out on the hustings and "rub elbows". Look at that group in the Chicago HQ.

    Remember, as Joe Biden said, "All politics is NOT local. All politics personal."

  • Hue and Cry on November 11, 2012 8:33 AM:

    The irony of all that spending for nudda is just so delectable and darn near luscious.

    Campaign donors calling the uber-arrogant Karl Rove to task is especially delicious. The world could see Rove absolutely evolve into maximum meltdown over the state of Ohio, which made it seeem as if he expected outcomes from voting manipulations there.
    And totally satisfying is that the election outcome marks a decisive move to liberal national politics.

    Hey Fox News--"Fun is like life insurance: the older you get, the more it costs."
    ~~~~Kin Hubbard

  • T-Rex on November 11, 2012 9:40 AM:

    Well, when large sums of money are being tossed around it's hardly surprising that some people will skim a bit for themselves. Remember Oliver North "borrowing" those blank traveler's checks for personal expenses, and assuring us he'd paid the money back? Since he'd shredded the ledgers, we had to take his word for it. And then there were those tons, literally, of dollars that just vanished in Baghdad.

    But I think it was obvious even before this revelation that the super PACs were doing more harm than good to their own side. The GOP primaries wouldn't have been such a long, brutal circular firing squad if Adelson hadn't kept Gingrich's ridiculous campaign on life support long after he should have withdrawn from the race. Same goes for some of the other candidates who wouldn't have stood a chance in the general election. Mitt wouldn't have been such damaged goods, and his etch-a-sketching wouldn't have been so obvious if he hadn't had to spend so long pandering to the Tea Party.

  • Renai on November 11, 2012 10:54 AM:

    I do enjoy loitering at the edges of this politically savvy group. If I may pipe up, we need a fast solution to these election machinations before we lose sight of them in the wash of other known and unknown problems
    needing to be dealt with.

    While election reform is just one more problem on a table already well covered, in priority, it's THE MOST IMPORTANT, even over global warming.

    If the Republicans continue to simply machine elections without any introspection or internal moral guidance (and they have shown absolutely no signs of such these past few years) then their gaining control over our government in any of the three branches ensures that no progressive work will get done anyway, especially on humanitarian issues like climate change.
    We dodged a very serious and ugly bullet Nov 6, and by a very slender margin. This should serve as a wake up call to the right, but also, an even louder wake up call to the left.

    Republicans should not be taken out of the electoral equation, of course, but their tenacious and underhanded ability to adjust circumstances to best suit their party needs to be immediately mitigated by an impartial non-biased third party with no vested interest in our elections. Because all other problems facing the US today ride on our elections continuing to be free.

    Maybe a Swiss oversight committee...?

  • cmdicely on November 11, 2012 12:58 PM:

    They say that the truth is the consultants essentially used the Romney campaign as a money making scheme

    That's what consultants, inherently, do with their assignments. If you can't establish proper oversight of campaign consultants as a candidate, you don't deserve to be President, because, trust me, as President, there are going to be lots of people trying to use their connections to you and the government for their own agenda, and if you can't control that so that, in order to make money, consultants have to actually be providing value for your campaign in the context of a campaign -- whose goals are fairly simple and straightforward compared to running the Executive Branch -- God help everyone if you ever end up running the country (even ignoring any problems with your values and ideology.)

    Blaming "the consultants" for treating their job as a "money-making scheme" and managing to get paid without delivering value is just another way of saying the guy at the top was incompetent at administration and needed to lose before even considering issues, values, ideology, etc.

  • Hue and Cry on November 11, 2012 1:31 PM:

    There is also the intimation on cites such as redstate and others that Romney insularly had family and friends on the donation intake valve, so there was the potential for heavy skimming there as well. Not surprised--Romney's whole career seems to be about capitalizing and taking the money.
    I learned a lot from varied links to right wing blogs about the woefully failed ORCA program used by the campaign, how fundraising was structured, the denial of facts and truths both from the campaign and Fox News surrogates--and how pitifully amateurish the CEO Romney's campaign ultimately was.
    It is just delectable how this is all coming out.
    Can you imagine how terribly Romney and his poorly organized deceitful crew would have run this country if they had been elected.
    We clearly avoided major disaster with our Democratic wins.

  • golack on November 11, 2012 2:09 PM:

    Just to note: those lame super-PAC ads were designed to impress the donors, not to sway votes. And they probably had to approve them too...so now must blame someone...else...

    Kings, new clothes...

  • Dave W on November 11, 2012 7:44 PM:

    A favorite from dispair.com


    If you're not a part of the solution, there's good money to be made in prolonging the problem.

  • Mark Combs on November 12, 2012 4:40 AM:

    The problem for Rove and others is that, to quote from The Sting, "you've got to keep the con even after it's over; you can't let him know you conned him."

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