When It Comes to Outside Election Spending This Year...

You ain’t seen nothing yet. A new report by Open Secrets reveals that non-Party SuperPACs and “dark money” groups with mystery donors have spent more than a half billion dollars this election cycle – more than the total amount of spending by non-party groups in every election since 1990 COMBINED. And most of that money is not being used in the Presidential election – it’s being used in Congressional and state races where it doesn’t take much money to sway an election and the media markets are cheaper.

But here’s the thing – the majority of spending this year is still likely to come. According to historical precedents – most spending occurs in the final weeks before the election, meaning voters are about to be hit with a tidal wave of TV ads financed by unknown corporate donors.

According to some estimates – total outside election spending will be well into the billions before it’s all said and done.


rimabg's picture
rimabg 11 years 36 weeks ago

Corps spending billions to lie to people about candidates and ballot initiatives. Voter supression. Hackable voting machines. In what universe is the US still a democracy? Hey Thom - when IS despair an option? ;-(

Yeah, I know. I've already signed up to phone bank election week.

mmuoio's picture
mmuoio 11 years 36 weeks ago

"The end of democracy and the defeat of the American Revolution will occur when government falls into the hands of lending institutions and moneyed incorporations.".....THOMAS JEFFERSON

It is time to consider rebellion once again.

ScottFromOz 11 years 36 weeks ago

For some time now, the US has had the worst government money CAN buy. Since Corporates United (I REFUSE to call it Citizens United) It is on the slippery slope, big time. I'm just astonished that my fellow Americans would even consider electing a vulture capitalist who claims he can fix the problems caused by vulture capitalism. The definition of insanity? Doing the same actions over and over and expecting a different outcome.

What's in our water Thom?

BMetcalfe's picture
BMetcalfe 11 years 36 weeks ago

Doesn't this sort of ridiculous campaign spending make 95% of us wonder: How many teachers could be rehired? How many under-fed school children in the U.S. could be better fed? How many people on Social Security could have their donut holes reduced? How many hard-working parents could be paid a little more? How many companies could better afford health insurance for their employees? How many uninsured people could be supplemented to financially afford policies for themselves and their families? How many animals could be saved from euthanization? How many DREAMers could be helped to claim their dreams of citizenship? How many more women could avoid unwanted pregnancies, breast cancer mammogram costs, and doctors appointments for other problems?

When someone buys a Presidency, and is inept to run it properly, who wins?

Oh, never mind... I'm just one of "those people..."who has Medicare, and will take my Social Security benefits at 70, if I live that long. What I wonder probably doesn't count, to the other 5%.

douglas m 11 years 36 weeks ago

I know what we call a girl with no values and no morals
that takes all the money she can get anywhere at anytime.
Its not america the beutifull!

HalFonts's picture
HalFonts 11 years 36 weeks ago

What's most distressing to me is that: even IF only 30% of what I think I know, is true -- the polls still have the electorate split roughly half-and -alf. He's self-made master of Vulture-Capitalism. Even with over 3-decades of Limberger-(and Wanabees') demoggery, HOW can this be so? -- are our citizenry that undiscerning? I'm preparing myself: Ultimately I have only one vote.

if the country goes Right, we're simply not ready yet -- or we have lost any semblance of rational critical-thinking. It's already that way in Religion, Medicine, Media, Commerce and now Politics. How with so much information, can we be so ignorant? And will we slip beyond the point of no recovery? Have we been this deluded before and survived? What am I missing? How do we recover?

Lastly, is this just US; or worldwide?

fjkapustka2's picture
fjkapustka2 11 years 36 weeks ago

Dark Money many times worse than Manchurian Candidate situation. Which candidates are sock puppets for criminals, criminal organizations, corporations, and foreign governments? Which candidates just want to watch the US and the world burn? Many candidates already appear brainwashed by representing insane political positions. If the air is polluted, the water and the earth get polluted in addition to our homes, cars, clothes, pets, etc. If the air, earth and water are polluted, crops cannot be eaten and neither can the livestock. Fine particulates are inhaled to reside in our lungs until we die. Suffocating is a lousy way to die. Ironically, those with the finest home, art, cars, etc., suffer just as much if not more. The particulate saturates the fabric of their clothes, carpets, linens and furniture. It also covers their pets. When water is contaminated, other scary things happen. We cannot drink it, water with it, swim in it, boat in it, or even wash our clothes. Contamination of the earth by water, air and other forms of pollution causes the land to be worthless. Pollution can kill the economy by killing the farm industry, travel industry (who wants to paddle around in a cess pool), realestate industry, and in turn every other industry. In the spring of 2007, while doing HP AIO printer tech support, I had a very scary conversation with a currency trader. He is from Germany. In the 1950s, he saw a similar financial situations playing out. At the time, gold was about $650/oz. He was dumping US dollars in favor of British Pounds Sterling, Swiss Francs and Gold. The prediction was for the dollar to be worth about a quarter of its current value at the time. Low and behold, Gold is just under $1800/oz. Others are now predicting a new event where land becomes worthless as does the dollar. The deficit will have to be reigned in immediately to head the coming financial crisis off, if it is even possible. I have read that we all should be arming ourselves with assault rifles because of the coming civil instability. I have been advised to get a conceal and carry permit as well. It appears those with the means will have to reside in armed compounds with body guards. So the predictions say. Without limits on donations and transparency, I sincerely think the current predictions will come true.

js121's picture
js121 11 years 36 weeks ago

The "New Right-Weyrich" WILL rig the machines as they did for Bush's elections. We will be unable to catch it anymore since 19 states have now eliminated Exit Polls, too. Romney's big $$ in Diebold and old Bain buddies owning Scytl does not help. They will NOT allow anyone to scrutinize the software. Election Fraud is going on all over (McCotter, MI; FL, CO, etc). What bothers me is that so many vets have fought and died for 'others' right to vote; yet, they stand behind the New Right's taking ours away. I know we can't get Limbaugh off the overseas radio they listen to and I know the NRA has made MANY false claims against Obama and the 2nd Amendment (I got a call from them saying he was a communist!); but, what is wrong with people? It's a fight on websites with them telling me that democracy never should have been and we aren't a democracy. What the heck is wrong with people!! The $$ they are spending to defeat our form of gov't should be a Red Flag; but, they are backing it -- because they are prejudice? because they really want a Theocracy/Oligarchy! Recently, a vet was at a Gun/Knife show asking for donations for vets. He had an AK-47 on the table. When I asked him why we need those, his answer was to defend our country against the socialists! He is going to turn that weapon on me? on us? I see that I WILL remain active and I will fight!

delster's picture
delster 11 years 36 weeks ago

We have the technology to control this mess by selling one per customer voucher contributions. Those wishing to contribute will be required to give their voter rgistration information to discourage fraud. Each voucher will be restricted to a set amount. Laws and restrictions must regulate the purchase of vouchers. Major contributions, bribes, gifts etc from wealthy individuals or corporations must be prohibited punishable by incarceration for a minimum of 10 years. This law must also be expaned to punish any lobbyist or other entity to gift or bribe and member of the house or congress or its affiliates.

If a employee of a corporation is forbidden to accept bribes or gifts from vendors, then the same should be true from our public elected officials, and their subordinates. This mess has gotten way out of control and the severest penalties need to be applied. If a member of our system cannot be trusted not to accept bribes, campain contributions, or gifts, how can we be sure the are faithful to the people their sworn to serve.

jeandurel's picture
jeandurel 11 years 36 weeks ago

In my opinion the most important issue in our country right now is the overturning of the Citizens United Supreme Court decision. The amount of money pouring into political campaigns is obscene and unbelievable. Am surprised there's not more outrage in the country over what is happening.

BMetcalfe's picture
BMetcalfe 11 years 36 weeks ago

Jean, I agree with you. But I'm a little more worried for the futures of our girls and women than I am Citizens United. If it were on the ballot, of course I'd vote to delete their right to be considered a person, along with all the other super PACs. But it's our daughters, grandaughters, and great-granddaughters for whom I have the most fear. CU, if need be, can live to fight us back another day. But taking away Women's Rights AT THIS TIME is far more important that CU and even the debt, right now. You and I and our generation have fought far too hard to let the Tea Party, the Evangelicals, and a Mormon Clone outlaw our rights to privacy and choice. This election is more about a women-takeover than it is electing a President. If Daddy Romney & darling Annie get into the White House, they will roll the women and our votes back 60 years. Plus, I still have faith in our President.

ken ware's picture
ken ware 11 years 36 weeks ago

Response to Growth Busters:

I did re-read your comments. To believe you can start by assuming that people will react in a manner that is logical and they will wake up to the fact that it is in their own self-interest concerning birth control in itself is not logically based on current statistics. And if technology cannot help our planet to survive what is an expected food shortage then our conversation is mute. To place your faith in the ability to act in a logical manner concerning birth control has proven itself not to be true. I think you can wish all you want, but the reality is that we are running out of food on a planetary basis and if technology does not provide the answer we are screwed. Your high opinion of yourself and your ability to know how people will react on a planetary scope is somewhat disturbing if not laughable!

I am always amused when someone who has lived most of their life, can come up with an answer for the younger generations that will save them. Is this the same strategy you used for your family, while you were still young and in the prime of life? I doubt that you used the advice you handing out to the generation that is now populating the world with their off-springs. Science has saved us with its ability to expand the current knowledge and to deliver an answer in every crisis we have encountered so far and your ability to dismiss that fact is somewhat unbelievable.

ken ware's picture
ken ware 11 years 36 weeks ago

What most of you dreamers fail to acknowledge is that half (50%) of our nation rallies behind the flag of the right wing. I do not agree with most of what they prescribe too, but Obama is just the same as Romney when it comes right down to 95% of what he supports. With the exception of Obama Care as it is called, what the hell is the difference between the two? And, if Obama truly cared about American health care he would and could have passed a single payer system. But it was not in the best interest of the insurance companies, so he claimed it was too difficult to pass. What? He had the House and the Senate and could have passed anything he deemed important! And less we forget the other 50% of America has the same rights to accept or reject any concept they choose too! I will now vote for the Independent candidate this election cycle, simply because Mr. Obama is just the opposite side of the coin that includes Mr. Romney. They are both backed by the Banksters on Wall St. and both receive funding from the super wealthy. So tell me my fellow citizens, by voting for either candidate what do you expect to change for the 99% in this nation? And, for those who call for rebellion by the people, the government is ready to put down that scenario with the military, police and Dept. of Homeland Security. How many of you are willing to shed your blood in the street for change. My guess would be not many, if any at all. So sit back and enjoy what liberty and comfort you now have, because it may not last for long once the banksters get the politicians to enforce a form of strict austerity for all of America, to pay for their crimes against humanity.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 11 years 36 weeks ago

I don't care if the Koch Brothers spend a couple trillion on TV ads in the next few weeks, the TRUTH about Romney's inability to tell the truth, highlighted in the recent so called debate, his record at Bain Capital, and Ryan as is his VP choice are all well known facts. If these facts are not enough to convince any sound minded voter that Willard is unfit to be leader of the free world, then we have the evidence that misinformation via the corp. media has already taken it's toll and no amount of additional lies are needed.

If this is indeed the case, then it's time to review our Declaration of Independence and ponder our right to dissolve the political bands that connect us to the oligarchs who using the corp. media as a weapon, have ended our democratic form of govt., in favor of fascism, this without our consent. November will tell us all we need to know and what action might be required.

Global's picture
Global 11 years 36 weeks ago

Yes, pay no attention to the man behind the curtain of The Benghazi coverup. It is most important that we move on with the Money in elections. The outright lies and deception by this administration should outrage all Americans and we should demand answers on who authorized this coordinated effort to deceive. This will be the real story in watching how the Obama spin machine will manipulate the dumbed down electorate into moving on. The October surprise will be some stupid event/shiny object to grab our attention. It is so predictable.

ken ware's picture
ken ware 11 years 36 weeks ago

Reponse to Mr. GrowthBusters:

WOW, Mr. GrowthBusters your attitude is just as sad to me, but unlike yourself I chose not give an air of piety to my comments. I do have faith in my fellow mankind, those that are educated enough to understand the ramifications of their actions. Unlike the West and the Industrialized World many people in this world do not have the capability to understand what the outcome of generating more people will have on them and their children. They just see more hands to work the land or whatever is needed to survive. We were all not lucky enough to have been born in this country where Planned Parenthood was crammed down our throats in the 1970's. But as a matter of record, I too practiced Planned Parenthood and have one daughter. I put her through college and she now holds a master's degree in education. So please do not look down your nose at the people who advocate science as one of many tools that will allow mankind to survive. As a matter of record, science once doubled its knowledge about every 100 years. In the latter part of the 20th, century it was every 10 years. Now, science takes about 1 to 5 years to discover what it once took 100 years to acquire. We as a nation have the ability to feed most of the world if we desired to do so on a charitable basis. But in a capitalist society we give very little away, that we (the corporations) can make a profit on. I do believe that mankind has the ability to feed the coming generations and we are discovering new ways to do this every year. When America's desire to feed the rest of the world grows to the same capacity as its ability to do so mankind will survive with the help of science and with good will towards other humans. So you see I do have faith in my fellow mankind, but I am also a realist who is educated enough to know people do not always do what is in their best interest. And until that time comes, I will continue to put my faith in science as well as in educated people.

ken ware's picture
ken ware 11 years 36 weeks ago

Global, do you really believe Mr. Romney would be any different from Mr. Obama ? Besides being a bitter Republican who seems to believe like the rest of the nation that Mitt won't cut it after his 47% of the population remark and the fact that every time he speaks to a different audience, he say's something different to please the people present, what do you really think? Talk about a spin machine, first Mitt loves the Ryan Budget and then he isn't (but we know he is just spinning for the audience) going to give those large cuts to his wealthy buddies and gals (don't want to be sexist like the Repub.s) out there! And now he did not mean the remark about the 47% of the population that is worthless and depends on hand-outs by the government. I guess if he makes it he will cut out unemployment along with all those other pesky programs that costs real American's money in taxes! The real October surprise will be if good ole' Mitt stops being the now famous Etch a Sketch candidate! ha!

fatfax's picture
fatfax 11 years 36 weeks ago


Thom's Blog Is On the Move

Hello All

Thom's blog in this space and moving to a new home.

Please follow us across to hartmannreport.com - this will be the only place going forward to read Thom's blog posts and articles.

From The Thom Hartmann Reader:
"Thom is a national treasure. Read him, embrace him, learn from him, and follow him as we all work for social change."
Robert Greenwald, political activist and founder and president of Brave New Films
From Screwed:
"The powers that be are running roughshod over the powers that OUGHT to be. Hartmann tells us what went wrong — and what you and I can do to help set American right again."
Jim Hightower, National Radio Commentator, Writer, Public Speaker, and author of the bestselling Thieves in High Places
From Cracking the Code:
"No one communicates more thoughtfully or effectively on the radio airwaves than Thom Hartmann. He gets inside the arguments and helps people to think them through—to understand how to respond when they’re talking about public issues with coworkers, neighbors, and friends. This book explores some of the key perspectives behind his approach, teaching us not just how to find the facts, but to talk about what they mean in a way that people will hear."
Paul Loeb, author of Soul of a Citizen