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Big Money In The 2012 Campaign

The six billion dollar campaign season. We’ll follow the huge money behind the wallet-busting race for 2012.

In this June 8, 2012, photo, supporters of Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney reaches out to shake his hand during a campaign stop in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Republican groups are heavily outspending their cross-party counterparts on television advertising in the early stages of the fall campaigns for the White House and control of the Senate, tempering President Barack Obama's financial advantage over Romney and sparking blunt expressions of concern from leading congressional Democrats. (AP)

In this June 8, 2012, photo, supporters of Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney reaches out to shake his hand during a campaign stop in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Republican groups are heavily outspending their cross-party counterparts on television advertising in the early stages of the fall campaigns for the White House and control of the Senate, tempering President Barack Obama’s financial advantage over Romney and sparking blunt expressions of concern from leading congressional Democrats. (AP)

When it comes to money – huge money – the 2012 political campaign season is shaping up as a season like no other.  Six billion dollars, by some estimates, headed into swaying your vote and the politicians you elect.

In Utah last weekend, Republican big-money poobahs swanning around the mountains with Mitt Romney.  In Boston last night, Democratic high-rollers getting expensive face time with President/candidate Obama.

Superpacs shoveling cash.  The Supreme Court saying;  yes, fine, go for it.  And you too, Montana.

This hour, On Point:  the giant money in 2012, and what it’s buying.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Dave Levinthal, reports on political influence issues for Politico.

Senator Jon Tester, D-Montana.

Fred Wertheimer, founder and president of Democracy 21, a nonprofit group that fights for tighter campaign finance regulation.

Brad Smith, chairman and co-founder of the Center for Competitive Politics. He is a former chairman of the Federal Election Commission.

From Tom’s Reading List

New York Times “That explanation does not account for another development that probably has been just as influential as the court’s Citizens United decision in creating the flood of money into the election: the demise of the public financing system for elections, hastened by Mr. Obama’s decision four years ago to abandon it.”

CBS News “Mitt Romney’s upcoming gathering of Republican heavyweights in Utah serves as a “unity moment” for the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, CBS News political director John Dickerson said.”

Mother Jones “Almost 40 years later, that outrage is back. Mass movements like the  tea party and Occupy have channeled popular anger at a political system  widely seen as backward and corrupt. In the age of the super-PAC,  Americans commonly say there’s too much money in politics, that lobbyists have too much power, and that the system is stacked against the average citizen.”

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