Thus far, according to a Center for Public Integrity analysis of Federal Election Commission records, that concern has not materialized. Yet Super PACs, the monster enabled by the court’s Citizens United ruling, are not headed for the poor house. They’ve found sugar daddies in the form of extremely wealthy individuals willing to contribute millions in personal wealth to Super PACs.
Here’s the math thus far in the 2012 election cycle: Super PACs have raked in $202 million. Of that sum, $68 million came from only 10 contributors; seven of the top 10 are individuals.
At the top of the list is Sheldon Adelson and his family. They gave $26.5 million, most of it in support of Newt Gingrich’s run for president.
Texan Harold Simmons put up $16.7 million to conservative causes. Coming in third is another wealthy man from the Lone Star State. Bob Perry donated $6.7 million to GOP-friendly causes.
“The top donor list is mostly Republican, which is not surprising given the competitive GOP presidential primary season,” Center for Public Integrity notes.
Of course, the party or candidates favored is less important than the underlying fear that massive contributions — the mother’s milk of political campaigns — will do serious harm to the nation’s democracy.
A Citizen United-flavored politics paid for by billionaires, Fortune 500 companies and labor unions cuts most Americans out of the picture.