Time and time again, Barack Obama has railed against Super PACs… those entities which can spend unlimited funds to advance an agenda and unofficially work to promote or oppose a candidate. Now, despite all the rhetoric about those bad Republicans and their Super PACs, it appears that the smell of money is just too much to resist.
Fox News has some great quotes from previous Obama speeches regarding unlimited spending by these kinds of groups:
“Last week, the Supreme Court reversed a century of law to open the floodgates for special interests — including foreign companies — to spend without limit in our elections. Well, I don’t think American elections should be bankrolled by America’s most powerful interests, and worse, by foreign entities.”
— President Obama in his Jan. 27, 2010 State of the Union address, chiding justices of the Supreme Court in person for the court’s decision to overturn the McCain-Feingold campaign finance laws.
Or how about this one…
“It could be the oil industry, it could be the insurance industry, it could even be foreign-owned corporations. You don’t know because they don’t have to disclose. Now that’s not just a threat to Democrats, that’s a threat to our democracy.”
— President Obama railing against outside political groups at a campaign rally in Philadelphia on Oct. 10, 2010
The news story by Chris Stirewalt also brings up an interesting point:
If Super PACs and outside groups were as wicked as Obama said they were in 2008 and 2010, one might think that he would have done more on the subject than exhort Congress and chide the Supreme Court. If shadowy figures and foreign nationals really are polluting the political process, wouldn’t that be worthy of some “we can’t wait” action or even some legislation during the time that Democrats held a supermajority in both houses.
Instead of working to reform the process, Obama is now embracing it. This doesn’t sit well with Democrat Russ Feingold, who helped author the so-called campaign finance reform legislation:
By embracing the super-PACs, Feingold said Obama was embracing a decision he previously had criticized.
“The president is wrong to embrace the corrupt corporate politics of Citizens United through the use of super-PACs — organizations that raise unlimited amounts of money from corporations and the richest individuals, sometimes in total secrecy,” Feingold said. “It’s not just bad policy; it’s also dumb strategy.”
According to The Hill, “Obama campaign told big-money donors late Monday evening to begin writing their checks to Priorities USA, a top Democratic ‘super-PAC,’ and make the president’s reelection effort competitive with its deep-pocketed GOP opponents.”
It certainly takes money to run an election. It also takes integrity. Condemning Super PACS, doing nothing to change the process, and then embracing them, shows that Obama will get plenty of one, while losing all of the other.