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WSW: Super Pac Influence Grows in Campaigns

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Wikimedia Commons

Campaigns and interest groups are pouring more money into making their final arguments  before the November fourth election. 

Michigan Campaign Finance Network Director Rich Robinson says this year's election continues the trend of independent spending outweighing what candidate committees spend. He says it almost makes candidates secondary actors in their own political campaigns. Robinson says Super Pacs are spending a stunning amount of money to try and influence elections. He says it has become clear that the Supreme Court's "Citizens United" decision was a watershed moment in American politics. 

"They wouldn't spend money where they know they're going to win or they know they're going to lose."

The MayDay Super Pac has announced that it's spending over $2-million in the 6th Congressional district where Democrat Paul Clements is challenging Republican Representative Fred Upton. Robinson says it's ironic that the group's main issue is trying to take a lot of the big money out of political campaigns. While there is no independent polling in the Congressional district, Robinson says it shows that at least those running the Super Pac believe that the race is close. "They wouldn't spend money where they know they're going to win or they know they're going to lose."

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Interview with Rich Robinson - web version

The expectation of a close election is driving much of the spending in the state Senate race in Kalamazoo County. Robinson says the most recent campaign finance reports show that the 20th state Senate race was the most expensive in the state. He says much of that money is coming from the caucus Pacs formed by the political parties.

Robinson says the trend of large outside spending in political campaigns is likely to continue. And he says it will probably keep growing until "there is a change in the makeup of the Supreme Court."

Gordon Evans became WMUK's Content Director in 2019 after more than 20 years as an anchor, host and reporter. A 1990 graduate of Michigan State, he began work at WMUK in 1996.
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