This really is a good problem to have.
Ted Cruz has so much money being thrown at him that the Super PAC options read like a Roulette wheel.
At least eight independent political groups are jockeying to support Cruz now that he has risen in the polls as perhaps the strongest challenger to frontrunner Donald Trump. The dynamic has confused wealthy donors and brought disarray to the otherwise orderly political operation that surrounds the freshman senator from Texas.
“We’re trying to figure out who has the best management team, the most efficient cost structure,” said Doug Deason, adding that he is a bit baffled by the various entities. “I just don’t think we need a bunch of people doing different things, maybe putting out different messages that don’t match up.”
Because the Super PACs are barred from coordinating with the well-managed Cruz operation, or using his vaunted data analytics system, donors have to rely on personal pitches from the PAC managers. Really, it’s like trusting a stock broker or fund manager; some are really good and some are terrible.
Liberals always push toward campaign funding limits (so they can run media-fueled whispering campaigns) and eliminating Super PACs–which Citizens United have kept alive–but maybe Cruz has a better idea.
In an interview in Iowa this weekend, Cruz said the proliferation of super PACs working on his behalf was a sign of his appeal. But he also said it would be better if campaigns could accept unlimited donations themselves.
“There’s no doubt that the existing campaign finance laws are idiotic, that it would make far more sense for all of the spending and messaging to go through the campaign,” he said.
Why shouldn’t campaigns be able to raise as much as donors want to give? The illusion that a candidate is somehow free from influence because of some law that’s supposed to prevent “coordination” is a benighted concept. Nobody really believes it, because it’s not true.
If a candidate is “bought and paid for,” then let it be known and public because Donor X gave $20 million to the campaign. Then let the voters decide. The smoke and mirrors of Super PACs is simply a breeding ground for corruption, intrigue and deniability for the worst politicians, and a millstone for the best.