You need to know this…The 2014 midterm elections are officially the most expensive midterm elections in American history. According to the Center for Responsive Politics around $3.67 billion will be spent this election cycle - beating out the previous record of $3.63 billion spent in the 2010 midterms.
To put that number in perspective, CNN estimates that if all the money spent on the midterms was spent on something else - it would be enough to build and operate 100 Ebola treatment centers in Africa.
It would also be enough to fund the K through 12 education of 12,000 American kids - or enough to buy 25 fighter F-18 fighter jets to help in the fight against ISIS. If it wasn’t already obvious before - it should be now.
We have the best democracy money can buy - and if there’s one story about this election cycle that everyone should be talking about - it’s that. Yes - the possibility of a Republican takeover of the Senate gets all the headlines - but the fact that billionaires like the Koch Brothers can now throw money at whatever race they want without any checks on their spending whatsoever is even more important - especially when you look at the big picture of what’s really going on here.
What we’re seeing with all the record-breaking spending in this year’s midterms isn’t an accident - it’s the perfection of the brave new world of money in politics.
The Supreme Court opened the floodgates four years ago with Citizens United - and then it opened them a bit a more with its McCutcheon decision earlier this year. This gave the right-wing money machine power like it never had before - and now - in 2014 - that machine has fine-tuned its strategy - creating a monster.
As the New York Times pointed out this weekend, spending from shadowy outside groups has skyrocketed over the past few weeks - giving a boost to GOP senate candidates all across the country.
Many of these shadowy groups didn’t even exist just a few months ago - and have only popped up in the days and weeks leading up to Election Day. Because of this - we may not know where these groups get their money until long after voters go the polls tomorrow.
In Kentucky - meanwhile - Mitch McConnell - who could be majority leader come January - is stretching what little campaign finance rules we DO have to their limits by openly working with Super PACs that support his reelection.
All this is a sign of a truly broken political system - but the mainstream media - especially mainstream cable news - could care less.
Sure - CNN will run stories on its website about how expensive the 2014 election cycle is - but make no mistake: the network will never - ever take its focus off horse race politics long enough to give campaign finance the coverage it deserves.
After all - where do those billions go? Right into the coffers of TV stations and networks!
So none of the national or local media has any interest in pointing out to us how badly corrupted our political system is now by all that money. And - in the long term - that might be just as damaging for our democracy as Super PACs are right now.
Don't let the billionaires buy another election. Get out and vote, and show the world that We The People have the real power.