by Stina McClintock
A few weeks ago I joked, following the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United, that I wouldn’t be surprised that in a few years the High Court would rule that the Constitution’s definition of “person” covers not just human beings, but also corporations, partnerships, associations, special purpose entities and other types of legal entities. This ruling would thereby force us to count each Kardashian (with their multitude of businesses) three times over for census purposes.
With the 2012 general presidential race heating up (don’t tell Santorum), more and more discussion about Super PACs (one of the outcomes of the 2010 Citizen’s decision) has once again become a major the headline in the news. There is some excellent discussion about how they operate in non political-wonk style here. For me, the topic of all things election related is interesting, so I decided to do some research on who had a Super PAC and just how much money are we talking. Thankfully, the fine folks at OpenSecrets.org have taken on the task of listing the Super PACs and who they support. It is rather awesome to look through the list and just see how much money the various groups have.
For those of you who watch The Colbert Report, you know that Stephen Colbert went to Washington and convinced the FEC that it was OK for him to have and promote a Super PAC on his show as long as he fell within the definitions of “media exemptions”. I will admit that I mainly know about Super PACs as a result of his show. But as I did research on more “collegial” websites, I saw that most of what he did on his program to highlight Super PACs was accurate. Which is both terrifying and pretty hilarious when you think about it, especially since satire sometimes isn’t taken seriously.