WUFT News

Super PACs make this election most expensive in history

By on November 6th, 2012

Gainesville retiree Jane Hiers has been volunteering for political campaigns since the 1940 presidential election, when was an 11-year-old in Virginia.

“I’m retired from being a community meddler,” she joked. “I thought I nailed my uniform to the wall, but every now and then I find myself grabbing for it.”

Click to see a timeline of the legal rulings and campaign reform acts that led to unlimited Super PAC contributions.

Now that she’s not able to go door-to-door for candidates she supports, Hiers remains politically involved by donating to Emily’s List, a political action committee.

Emily’s List accepts donations of less than $2,500 per candidate to fund pro-choice, Democratic women win offices. Every candidate the committee has supported in the 2012 election has been a woman running for a House of Representatives or Senate seat.

Hiers is dismayed that this year’s $6 billion presidential election is the most expensive in history.

“I think it’s absolutely obscene,” she said.

A contributor to high election costs is the rise of Super PACs, which are special political action committees that have been allowed since July of 2010.

The Supreme Court capped individual campaign donations at $2,500, but Super PACs can spend unlimited amounts on advertisements for political candidates.

Campaign finance teams understand donations limits and how to circumvent them, said Daniel Smith, a University of Florida political science professor and elections expert.

Less than five percent of people will donate to political campaigns, he said.

Super PACS have raised a collective $662 million for this election, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Super PACs, Smith said, are not accountable to anyone.

Katherine Hahn wrote this story online. 


This entry was posted in Politics and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
 

More Stories in Politics

Charlie Crist spoke at UF on Wednesday. He touched on the importance of voting and education policy in his speech.

UF College Democrats Rally in Support of Charlie Crist on Campus

Members of the community gathered in Pugh Hall on Wednesday to support Charlie Crist in the 2014 gubernatorial election.


Governor Rick Scott urges attendees of a rally in Gainesville to vote early and to encourage others to do the same. The stop was one of many on a Get Out the Vote bus tour on October 28th, 2014.

Scott Rallies Voters On Bus Tour As Election Nears

Governor Rick Scott continued his “Get Out the Early Vote” bus tour on Tuesday with a stop in Gainesville at David’s Real Pit BBQ to rally voters and encourage them to head to the polls early.


Early Voting

Early Voting Has Begun

Bradford county joins Levy county Monday in opening their doors for early voting. Alachua county will begin early voting Wednesday and Marion county on Thursday. These are the few counties that will have early voting until every county is open [...]


The City of Gainesville Commission tested a “phone-conference” town hall meeting. This allows residents to listen, and participate in, town hall meetings from the comfort of their own home.

City Commission Tests Telephone Town Hall Meeting

In an effort to better connect with residents, the Gainesville City Commission tested a “phone-conference” town hall meeting yesterday. Over 23,000 landlines were called.


Steve McGriff, 63, from Hog Valley, Fla., waves a sign showing support for Medical Marijuana outside of John Morgan's "Yes On 2" bus on Sept. 10, 2014.

Language on Medical Marijuana Amendment Fuels Debate

The wording of Amendment 2 for the legalization of medical marijuana in Florida has sparked debate as the November vote approaches. John Morgan of Morgan & Morgan spoke at The Swamp Restaurant in support of the amendment.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments