“Howard and I have been friends for 30 years,” said Marc Nathanson, a cable TV magnate and investor who founded the super PAC and has given it $100,000. “It’s a friendship beyond what I call political friendships — it’s a personal relationship. When it was clear he needed help, I figured out a way to do that.”
This is a quote from the lifelong friend of Howard Berman, a congressional Democrat from California who is now being supported by “The Committee to Elect an Effective Valley Congressman” in his campaign for a new redistricted seat. And it is just that easy now. If you have means and desire, the $4,600 contribution limits (primary and general) that apply to 99% of us are no longer applicable. Just start a SuperPAC, move as much money into it as you would like, and help your buddy. Other egregious examples of mocking federal contribution laws include:
- In the High Desert east of Los Angeles, for example, Republican Paul Cook was aided by more than $200,000 worth of ads and mailers from two super PACs in the newly created 8th Congressional District. The groups were formed by the same lawyer within a month of the primary and have not yet had to disclose their donors.
- In Texas, Dallas billionaire Harold Simmons has dumped $1 million into two super PACs focused solely on the GOP Senate primary there. One group is running ads supporting Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst (R) while the other is attacking his tea party opponent, Ted Cruz.
And this does not begin to look at the presidential race, where unregulated spending has already dwarfed actual candidate spending. After all, why would we want to hear from the actual candidates or campaigns?
The question that lingers is who will do anything about this? While the current President ran on a political reform platform in 2008, he is now one of the chief receivers of SuperPAC “assistance”. Is there any indication he would do something about this in his 2nd term? We shall see, but remain dubious.