Laughing Matters: Our 99% Solution For Negative Political Ads
The next time we see or hear a negative political campaign ad, we should just laugh.
Laugh in disbelief. Laugh out of frustration. Laugh because we’re not stupid. Laugh because no one can buy our votes. Laugh to chase away our fears. Laugh because we won’t be manipulated. Laugh because we’re keeping score.
Laugh in disbelief because political ad spending across the U.S. will reach about $10 billion in 2012, up from $7 billion in 2008. Just what our country needs, a 40% increase in anything involving politics.
Laugh out of frustration because negative political ads hijack our time. Between January 23th and 29th, 11,586 television spots ran during the Republican primary in Florida. So far in 2012, 69% of all presidential campaign TV ads have been negative. Just imagine between now and November.
Laugh because we’re not stupid. Super PACs (political action committees) are formed to influence the outcome of elections. A super PAC can legally receive unlimited donations as long as the money is spent independently from a candidate’s campaign. Any cooperation or coordination would be illegal. Yet family members of candidates have set up super PACs. Candidates and super PACs share consulting firms. Former campaign officials of 2008 are staff on super PACs for the same candidates in 2012. Now consider that through mid July, super PAC’s have received $306 million in contributions. Part of this money has been used to fund political ads. Presidential campaign TV ads from the top 3 super PACs have been 90% negative. So laugh because we’re not stupid and we know that super PACs are just ways to manipulate the law and fill our heads with negative political ads.
Laugh because no one can buy our votes. Almost $100M or 63% of total donations to super PACs have come from 50 very wealthy contributors. Forbes has reported that one billionaire may contribute $100M to super PACs in 2012. Much of this money will finance political ads to buy our votes. 90% of the presidential campaign TV ads for the top 3 super PACs so far have been negative. These wealthy contributors spend their money to promote their agenda for our country. But what does their agenda have in common with the agenda of middle class Americans? Health care? Jobs? Home ownership? Education? Retirement? Social security? Medicare? Common sense says we shouldn’t buy the agendas that super PACs are selling. And as a result, super PACs won’t be able to buy our votes.Continued on the next page