…are targeting (wait for it!) incumbent politicians.
- Who will save the poor incumbents from the Super-PAC onslaught? (Reason Hit & Run)
One thing about elections is that, traditionally, incumbents have an enormous advantage. Even back in 2010, after Citizens United cleared the way for Big Money to buy elections and… um, Tea Party and stuff, 85% of incumbents won re-election. But now that Citizens United has really super we mean it this time cleared the way for Big Money to buy elections, the New York Times is bemoaning the fact that some people are saying nasty things about incumbents. But those people have lots of money, and they don’t happen to own a newspaper like the New York Times, which makes it bad.
Today’s New York Times tells the heart-rending story of U.S. representatives who run for re-election but don’t necessarily win.Who is responsible for this disturbing development? Apparently a bunch of rich guys who give money to super PACs that advertise against members of Congress. The Times says one super PAC in particular is “increasing Congress’s sense of insecurity”: the Houston-based Campaign for Primary Accountability, which is “targeting incumbents in both parties,” including Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-Ohio), a four-term legislator who lost her primary fight on Tuesday to Brad Wenstrup, “a doctor and Iraq war veteran who has never held political office,” even though “she was expected to prevail.”
“Obviously,” says Rep. Jo Bonner (R-Ala.), a five-term congressman annoyed by critical ads, “when the Supreme Court made their decision to open up corporate war chests, this is the result.”
“Members say there is little they can do to stop the onslaught of third-party activity,” the Times reports. Can it really be that they have no recourse, that they just have to let people criticize them?
Aww, poor widdle incumbent Congresscritters. People are saying mean things about them on the internet. That’s just terrible. Here, let’s give them a sympathy gif:
Wait, that wasn’t the sympathy gif. Hang on, I got this… let’s try it again:
Nope, that’s not it either. I guess they’ll just have to be content with a roughly 90% re-election rate, a six-figure salary, and the only opportunity in the land to do some legal insider trading.