By Dan Christensen
F. Scott Fitzgerald, in his 1926 short story The Rich Boy, famously wrote, “Let me tell you about the very rich. They are different from you and me.”
Today’s very rich Republicans and Democrats exploit their difference to spend as much as they want
By Francisco Alvarado
Sen. Marco Rubio’s presidential campaign continues to trickle out refunds to donors who made excessive contributions last year. This time, it was a $10,000 returned to Anthony Trey Traviesa, a former Florida state representative from the Tampa area.
While Super PACs were cast as the big, bad wolves during the last election, the groups were outspent by “social welfare” organizations by a 3-2 margin, a trend that may continue amid reports that major donors are giving tens of millions of dollars to the secretive nonprofit groups.
A joint investigation by the Center for Public Integrity and the Center for Responsive Politics has found that more than 100 nonprofits organized under section 501(c)(4) of the U.S. tax code spent roughly $95 million on political expenditures in the 2010 election compared with $65 million by super PACs.
Contrary to expectations, the much-criticized court decisions that gave us “super PACs” have not led to a tsunami of contributions flowing from the treasuries of Fortune 500 corporations — at least not yet anyway.
What the Citizens United decision and a lower court ruling have done is make household names out of a bunch of relatively unknown, very wealthy conservatives.