Super Pacs -- Who Comes Up with Those Names?
Nineteen weeks before the elections, and already the airwaves are clogged with competing political commercials.
Many are funded by so-called super PACs, political action committees that are allowed to collect unlimited sums from companies, unions and individuals, and then spend that money supporting or attacking candidates.
Every Super PAC commercial flashes microscopic text at the end, lawfully stating which group paid for the ad. This is a huge inside joke, because the names of the actual donors are on file with the
Super PACs also are, on paper, independent. That means candidates who benefit from the attack ads can conveniently disavow any involvement with their content.
If you're starting a Super PAC, the most important thing (besides having suck-up billionaire friends) is choosing a feel-good name that looks solid at the end of your ads. No matter how venal and selfish your motives might be, the name of your fund-raising machine should always be sturdy and patriotic.
One of the biggest Republican Super PACs is called American Crossroads, which sounds like the title of a
American Crossroads has raised about
Still, it's a darn good front -- better than calling it Restore Our Tax Breaks.
By contrast, the top Super PAC supporting Obama is Priorities USA Action, which sounds like a lame combat video game. Who's the dweeb that came up with this?
Then there was
It raised almost
What a great system!
Adelson recently gave
Last week, Adelson donated
Scores of Super PACs are listed with the federal elections office. Many of the groups haven't collected a dime in contributions, hinting that somebody just came up with a name and wanted to claim it. One of the funniest Super PACs is called Florida Is Not For Sale.
There's also Fight for the Dream, Feel the Heat, End the Gridlock, Prosperity First, Patriots for a Better Tomorrow, Americans for America -- and even Americans for a More American America.
You'd be hard-pressed to come up with a title as tone-deaf as Priorities USA Action, but Obama's key fundraisers obviously thought it was pretty catchy. The dullness didn't discourage movie executive
Go-to words in the Republican Super PAC formula are "liberty," "freedom" and "values." Democratic-leaning groups prefer "forward," "action" and "progress." It's purely a difference in advertising strategy.
A more forthright approach to the outside funding of presidential campaigns would be to set up two honestly named Super PACs. One could be called Crush Obama and the other could be called Stomp Romney.
The special interests and super-rich who hate one candidate more than the other could still give as much money as they wish, only their names would be prominently scrolled at the end of each commercial -- the same way directors and producers are credited in films.
That way, voters would know who was really paying for the attack ads.
And all these big donors could stop pretending to stand for the common citizen by cloaking themselves with slogans written for fools.
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Super Pacs -- Who Comes Up with Those Names? | Politics
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