News / USA

Huge Amounts of Money Flowing to US Election Campaigns

A television advertisement run by Democrats suggests that Republicans are using foreign money to help fund their campaigns
A television advertisement run by Democrats suggests that Republicans are using foreign money to help fund their campaigns

Multimedia

This US election season, money in the form of campaign contributions appears to be playing a greater role than ever. A Supreme Court decision earlier this year opened the way for more campaign spending on TV commercials by corporations and labor unions. By the time the election is held on November 2, somewhere between $2 to $3 billion will have been spent on this year's races for the House, the Senate, and state governors, according to groups that monitor fundraising. 

In addition to campaign speeches, candidate debates and even the occasional scuffle involving angry voters, endless TV ads have become a driving force in this year's congressional campaign.

One of the most intense Senate races is taking place in Nevada between Democratic Senate leader Harry Reid and Republican challenger, Sharron Angle.

REID AD: "She says rape victims should be forced to have the baby."
ANGLE AD: "Harry Reid. The best friend illegals have ever had."

Many of the ads are funded by groups unaffiliated with political parties, many with anonymous donors, and they're having an impact on the campaign.

Republicans seem to be benefiting from the enhanced flow of money thanks to a Supreme Court ruling in January lifting restrictions on corporate and union spending on campaign ads. It's caught the attention of President Barack Obama, who raised questions about fundraising by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce at a campaign event in Illinois.

"Are you going to let special interests from Wall Street and Washington and maybe places beyond our shores come to this state and tell us who our senator should be?" asked Obama.

The Chamber denies it is using foreign money, and Republicans are firing back, including Karl Rove, a political adviser to former President George W. Bush.  Rove is involved with a group raising money to help Republican candidates.

"This is a desperate political ploy by the White House to distract attention from the failed economic policies," said Rove.

Election campaigns in the U.S. are expensive and getting more so, says expert Susan Tolchin.

"It costs a great deal more to run for office than it ever did.  Television advertising is very costly," said Tolchin.  

Fewer restrictions on campaign fundraising and spending are helping the Republicans this year, says historian Allan Lichtman.

"Because of the change in the Supreme Court's interpretation of the laws, wealthy donors can pour huge amounts of money into the campaigns without disclosing who they are," said Lichtman.  "So the Republicans are getting the best of both worlds.  They have the grass roots energy, which the Democrats lack, from the Tea Party and they have got the big money."  

But Michelle Bernard of the Independent Women's Forum says money is flowing to Republicans because voters prefer their message of smaller government and want to send President Obama a message.

"Whether people are Democrats or Republicans, and they are complaining about the amount of money that is funded to candidates through outside groups, the money is following the candidate," said Bernard.  "It is not the other way around."  

Democrats have tried to focus attention on Republican campaign contributions as a major issue, but so far the polls show voters are most worried about the economy and jobs.

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid