January 19, 2012
The race for the Republican presidential nominee has been
dominated so far, in terms of money, by the super PAC—political action
committees established by wealthy individuals trying to influence who
wins the GOP nomination.
Front-runner Mitt Romney has benefited from several super PACs,
including one using $1 million from hedge-fund magnate John Paulson, and
another involving the Marriott brothers (yes, the hotel chain) who also
gave $1 million.
If Romney becomes the Republican challenger to President Barack
Obama, and wins in November, it’s safe to say that Obama’s financial
reforms for Wall Street, limited though they may be, will be in danger
of being overturned, since Paulson is big on getting rid of them.
The Marriott brothers, meanwhile, would expect for their help getting
Romney into the Oval Office “favorable tax and immigration policies
through their hotel companies,” according to The Washington Post.
Not all of the super PACs are in Romney’s corner. Casino owner
Sheldon Adelson has spent at least $5 million on a group supporting Newt
Gingrich. Adelson’s priorities include helping Israel and making life easier for the gambling industry.
Another big-money player has been Our Destiny PAC, which was helping
Jon Huntsman. With the former Utah governor out of the race, it is
unclear what Our Destiny plans to do with its money.
“There are probably fewer than 100 people who are fueling 90 percent
of this outside money right now,” David Donnelly, national campaigns
director at the Public Campaign Action Fund, an advocacy group favoring limits on political spending, told The Washington Post.
“When you think about the amazing impact that this small number of
people have on deciding the election, on the information that people
will have on who to vote for, it’s mind-boggling.” (CONTINUE READING)