Every time the political season hits full-swing, I am always curious about how much political advertising I will see between the national network news and Jeopardy! (my 5:30-6:30pm routine). Nothing cracks me up like seeing Jeopardy! go to break and then seeing 5 of 6 ad spots be political purchases. Normally it's a predictable routine of Dem for Senate, Rep for Senate, DCCC, NRCC, and then maybe an ad for a local car dealer.
In 2008, I noticed for the first time that the ad breaks lacked any non-political ads. From the touching personal-interest story that finished the news to the first round of Jeopardy!, all I heard was how big of loser some politician was or how big of a fool I was for supporting taxing oil and gas (because they were sure to just shove it right back up me in increased rates).
2010 was worse. And today I have discovered why the volumn of the noise went up so much over the last two election cycles: Indepedent campaign financing increase 68 fold from 2006 to 2010 in the state of Colorado. From less than $400k in 2006 to over $25million in 2010, the Citizens United v. FEC ruling paved the way for third parties to take over the campaign funding process. And in 2010, third party fundraising eclipsed contributions to candidate campaigns $25.7m to $19.8m, respectively.
Following this trend, it appears the nightly news is set to get bumped off the air in favor of non-stop messages coming
straight from some quasi-identifiable political action committee that wants to tell me all about how my favorite candidate kicks dogs when he's not raping children.
It looks like Follow the Money is rolling out state-by-state reports right now. Arizona, Alaska, Colorado and Texas' reports are out now and available here: http://www.followthemoney.org/...
Let's all savor the hell out of this football season (woes of the Broncos, Buffs and Rams aside) - next year's season is going to be filled with political noise. With the money that will be available in 2012, I see the super-imposed campaign ads pasted onto the end of the First & 10 line now. . .