What's Your Decision - Super PACs Part 2 - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

What's Your Decision - Super PACs Part 2


Voters will be heading to the polls in November, but the airwaves are already full of super political action committee advertisements.


"Restore our future is responsible for the content of this message," the announcer says in the political commercial. If you're like most Americans, super PAC advertisements have quickly become super-annoying

I'd rather turn it off," said Dean Olson of Davenport. "It's a waste of money. There are people that are in dire need of help and we are spending money so foolishly," he added.


Unfortunately for Dean, these type of political commercials won't be going away, thanks to the Supreme Court of the United States. Two years ago, the high court ruled to allow large political action committees - or super PACs to form and raise unlimited funds to campaign on anyone's behalf.

Super PACs can spend as they wish without having to worry about many campaign finance laws, as long as the PAC doesn't communicate directly with an individual candidate's campaign. But politics can sometimes be sneaky. While "Restore our Future" is technically separate from the Mitt Romney campaign, it is run by three former Romney staffers. It's a practice that is legal and according to Mitt Romney during an interview with KWQC-TV in December, it is fair game.

"Is politics and campaigning fair to point out distinctions between candidates? Of course that's the nature of campaigns," Romney said.

The beauty of super PAC ads for politicians is that the commercial can promote the candidate's agenda, while distancing himself or herself from it. And while conservative super PACS have been more aggressive than Democratic ones, liberal groups are slowly catching up.


Former White House Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton has separated himself from the campaign to launch a Pro-Obama agenda through the PAC, "Priorities USA Action". While it is struggling to raise enough money to effectively county the pro-Romney "restore Our Future", both are engaging in attacks that at times, hide the facts necessary for an accurate perspective.

For example, an ad from a pro-Romney super-Pac makes the following statement:

"After a record 40 straight months of unemployment over eight percent, President Obama insists the private sector is doing fine."

While those numbers are technically true, it makes no mention of Obama's later clarification in which he said, "The economy is not doing fine." Nor does the ad give credit to the president for reducing the national unemployment rate from its high of ten percent in October of 2009.

For its part, the pro-Obama super PAC attacks Mitt Romney's business experience at the financial firm, Bain Capital.

"Romney bought companies, drowned them in debt, many went bankrupt thousands of workers lost jobs benefits and pensions," the ad claims.

While those things did occur, a lot of it happened when Romney wasn't in charge. The ad makes no mention of the contributions Bain Capital has made to the U.S. economy in the last 28 years. According to Security Exchange Commission filings, the 350 businesses the company has held stake in, have produced over $80 billion in growth.

So what's your decision? Is the super PAC method allowed by the supreme court fair? Are these commercials painting presidential candidates accurately? In the end, it's all up to you to decide wisely when comes to believing what you see on your TV.

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