Dark Money, Media, and the 2012 Campaign
Campaign 2012 was a giant economic shot in the arm for America’s broadcasters, as more than $850 million was spent on TV advertising in the presidential race alone. Hundreds of millions more went into ad buys for congressional and state races.
This raises some serious questions about whether the media can serve as an effective watchdog in our post-Citizens United politics. Because if broadcasters benefit from huge SuperPAC spending every election season, what motive do they have to risk angering their biggest customers by investigating money in politics?
Worse, big money in politics deepens the divide between our leaders and the public. Money may not corrupt every vote a legislator makes, but even the appearance of corruption will foster cynicism, suppress turnout, and lead ordinary Americans to disengage from the political process. After all, if influence is up for sale to the highest bidder, what hope does the average person have of being heard?
Common Cause has teamed up with the Sunlight Foundation, Free Press, and the Sunlight Foundation to host a panel discussion of these issues and more. Join us Friday, November 16, at 9:30 am at the New America Foundation in downtown Washington DC.
We’ve brought together journalists, advocates, and academics to share their insights on the role of big money and Citizens United in Election 2012 and beyond. Our panel includes:
- Matea Gold, Washington Correspondent for the Los Angeles Times
- Ellen S. Miller, Executive Director, Sunlight Foundation
- Dr. Jason Reifler, political scientist at Georgia State University
- Craig Aaron, President & CEO, Free Press
The discussion will be moderated by Mark Lloyd, director of the Media Policy Initiative at the New America Foundation, with opening remarks by Michael Copps, former FCC Commissioner and Senior Advisor to Common Cause’s Media and Democracy Reform Initiative.