Superlative PACs: Richest dominate

Sheldon Adelson, with his wife, has so far donated the most super PAC money: $26.5 million. He’s worth an estimated $21.5 billion.

Have we sold our democracy to the highest bidders? Absolutely. Do you care? That depends.
 
An analysis released this week by watchdog group Center for Public Integrity revealed that a small handful of mega-rich billionaires have been given disproportionate control over our political discourse. Of all super PAC donations this election season, data show, more than a third — $68 million out of a total $202 million — came from the top 10 contributors.

And here’s another little nugget of joy: Most of these most-wealthy donors happen to be fabulously conservative. Of the top 10 donors, seven were right-leaning individuals (six Republicans, one a libertarian giving to a Republican candidate), two were left-leaning unions, and one an obscure doctors co-op.

Contrary to impressions that the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling would usher in an era of unfettered free speech, what we’ve got here is a dramatic devaluing of ordinary speech. Necessarily, as this tiny slice of rich fellows spends vast millions to legally disseminate their right-wing beliefs, the thoughts of regular individuals suffer a sort of idea inflation:?The views of real working people are drowned beneath the onslaught of slick campaign materials. There’s no competing, unless, perhaps, you’re a union; but let’s be honest, you’re probably not.

And just what have the fruits of this newfound freedom borne? Well, a whole lot of negativity, actually. According to a report from the Wesleyan Media Project, 70 percent of TV campaign ads so far this election season have been negative — up from a downright upbeat 9.1 percent in the 2008 campaign! Oh, the good old days, when men were men and secret Muslims knew how to keep their mouths shut.

Whether any of this bothers you will likely depend on your political affiliation. Do you care that money is poisoning the political process? Our guess: Not if your team is winning.

Metro does not endorse the opinions of the author, or any opinions expressed on its pages.

For complaints, suggestions and digital attaboys, e-mail us at brayden.simms@metro.us. And follow Brayden Simms on Twitter @Metropolitk.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Rapper affiliate of Wu-Tang Clan 'cuts off own…

Rapper Andre Johnson, who has performed with New York outfit the Wu-Tang Clan, is in a critical condition after reportedly cutting off his own penis…

National

Cleavage complaint: Disneyland staffer orders curvy mom to…

A curvy mom-of-three says she filed a formal complaint after staff at Disneyland Resort in California ordered her to cover up her boobs. Melissa Behnken,…

International

Canadian charged in 'Heartbleed' attack on tax agency

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian police have arrested a 19-year-old man and charged him in connection with exploiting the "Heartbleed" bug to steal taxpayer data from…

National

Every dog has his day in court, in…

(Reuters) - Call him juror K-9.A computer glitch is likely to blame for a summons that called a German Shepherd to report for jury duty,…

Television

‘Survivor: Cagayan’ recap: Episode 8

Sure, it's called Survivor. But this season should really be called 'The Tony Show.'

Television

Jim Rash talks 'The Writer's Room' and amazing…

For Jim Rash, as the fifth season of "Community" comes to a close, the second season of "The Writer's Room" begins.

Television

'Dexter' star Jennifer Carpenter moves into producing role

The actress who played the title character's sister in "Dexter" is teaming up with producer George Stelzner to adapt Erika Hayasaki's book "The Death Class:…

The Word

Wahlburgers announce North America domination

Tuesday was a huge day for Donnie Wahlberg.

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox beat White Sox…

Red Sox walk 15 times in extra innings win

NBA

Kris Humphries on free agency, future with Celtics:…

Kris Humphries on free agency, future with Celtics: 'I hope to be back'

NBA

Celtics turn attention to NBA Draft, improve lottery…

Celtics turn attention to NBA Draft, improve lottery odds with loss

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

Wellbeing

This Week in Health: chocolate may prevent obesity…

Can chocolate prevent obesity and diabetes? Location of study: U.S. Study subjects: Mice Results: The positive health benefits of chocolate have been studied increasingly more…

Wellbeing

This Week in Health News: breastfed infants trying…

Are breastfed infants trying to prevent mom from having another baby? Theory: The act of breastfeeding not only brings mom and baby closer together –…

Wellbeing

Unexplained infertility may be caused by lack of…

Researchers have identified a protein on the egg's surface that interacts with another protein on the surface of sperm, allowing the two cells to join.

Tech

5 surprising facts about Google Glass

Your sex life could get more interesting.