Welcome to the world of post-Citizens United elections, where the results of elections can be seemingly bought and sold by corporate interests and the wealthiest Americans.
Republican super PACs and other outside groups shaped by a loose network of prominent conservatives – including Karl Rove, the Koch brothers and Tom Donohue of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce – plan to spend roughly $1 billion on November’s elections for the White House and control of Congress, according to officials familiar with the groups’ internal operations.
That total includes previously undisclosed plans for newly aggressive spending by the Koch brothers, who are steering funding to build sophisticated, county-by-county operations in key states. POLITICO has learned that Koch-related organizations plan to spend about $400 million ahead of the 2012 elections – twice what they had been expected to commit.
It’s important to point out the $1 billion in outside money that is likely to be spent by Republican super PACs and other Republican-allied outside groups is in addition to the money spent by the traditional party apparatus – in this case the Romney campaign and the Republican National Committee. The money spent by the Romney campaign and the RNC could be somewhere in the neighborhood of $800 million, meaning that the amount of money spent to help Mitt Romney win the 2012 presidential election could total nearly $2 billion.
That’s a heck of a lot of money to spend to win an election, and it doesn’t bode well for those of us who aren’t large corporations or the super-rich.