Monday, October 25, 2010

David Brooks Downplays Influence of Anonymous Campaign Contributions.

David Brooks is going to great lengths to say that anonymous financing is not a big deal.

DAVID BROOKS: I think it’s tremendously corrupting in Washington. The question is does it affect the electorate? And I guess-- does it affect voters? A couple things. First, it’s important to remember the outside money is only ten percent of the total money. Most can-- most money is still candidate driven and it’s-- party driven. The second thing is the money is flowing in on both sides. Ask me, the public sector worker, $87 million. The NEA, $40 million. So, there’s a ton of money.

DAVID GREGORY: But you do know where they’re coming from?

DAVID BROOKS: Right. That’s-- that’s exactly right. The untransparent money is a genuine problem. But then this third thing, the final thing is does it affect voters? We’ve got $3.5 billion being spent on this election. Some of these outside funds like Karl Rove’s American Crossroads, they’re spending $12 million. Do we really think that’s affecting? And then if you’ve got a race like in Colorado, where the Democrat and the Republican are each throwing 5,000 ads at each other. Do we really think if one candidate throws 7,000 as opposed to 5,000 it’s gonna make a big difference?
Erm, yes! Is he seriously arguing that these ads make no difference to the outcome of the election? If that was really the case then why would either party waste so much money advertising?

It does make a difference. And, I suspect, Brooks is making this very bad and ill thought out argument because he really doesn't want anyone spending too much time asking who is behind these adverts.

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