The Power Of Super PACs

Andrew Sullivan —  Feb 1 2012 @ 3:21pm

Noreen Malone profiles an extraordinary Romney advantage:

Romney, sans super PAC money, raised just $57 million, compared with Obama's $140 million from his network of bundlers and grassroots donations last year. But those numbers don't even come close to painting the whole picture, as the super PAC disclosures reveal. Republican groups outraised their Democratic counterparts by four to one, a fairly incredible ratio. This could very well be a year in which, stunningly, an incumbent gets outspent by the challenger.

Adam Skaggs traces the ties that bind Super PACs to campaigns:

The candidate Super PACs were all established by former campaign advisors to the candidates.  They are funded by friends and associates with close ties to the candidates (or, in the case of former candidate Jon Huntsman, by the candidate’s father).  As election law expert Rick Hasen explained, Super PACs can do a lot that sure sounds like coordination, including soliciting funds, attending fundraisers, appearing in ads, and using the same lawyers — all without coordinating, and still legally claiming to be independent.