Campaign Finance A long and expensive campaign season has already started with the 2012 election only

607 days away. According to the LA Times, heavy campaign spending can leverage or magnify the favored party’s advantage during the current troubled economy. The Supreme Court ruled that unions and corporations maintain a free-speech right to make unlimited contributions through independent expenditures. The result is wealthy conservative donors contributing large amounts of funding to groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which is extremely active in battleground campaigns. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce spent over $50 million during the 2010 election cycle. President Obama does not “think American elections should be bankrolled by America’s most powerful interests.” It is important to note that the largest source of Democratic campaign funding is from public employee unions. For example, the largest amount of funding for Democrats comes from the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees. University of Minnesota Professor Lawrence Jacobs claims the 2010 money race provides “the architectural drawings” for the 2012 election season. Jacobs argues the emerging and integral role for independent groups is to act as surrogates. According to Jacobs, "These outside groups are basically the nameless, faceless assassins who come in at night to take out the opponents. The candidate and party money will no longer have to do the heavy lifting.”

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