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Sen. Sherrod Brown talks with supporter
$40 million barely made a dent.
I can pinpoint the exact moment I stopped worrying about Citizen's United and the flood of billionaire cash flooding this cycle's elections: April 12, 2012. That's when I wrote this piece noting the ineffectiveness of attack ads against Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown:
There is no candidate in this nation, except for presidential contenders, who has faced more Super PAC-funded negative ads than Ohio Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown. At last count, he's faced $5.1 million in such attack ads from the US Chamber of Commerce ($2.7 million), the 60 Plus Association ($1.4 million), others like Rove's Crossroads GPS.

Now keep in mind that unlike Obama, Sherrod Brown isn't a household name, not even in Ohio. He's a freshman Senator, at his most vulnerable reelection effort—his first. These are the kind of races in which negative ads have the most impact, helping define candidates in voters minds.

So what have those millions done to Brown's numbers? Here's a poll composite of the state, excluding Rasmussen's numbers:

Ohio Senate poll trendlines
Essentially, Brown has gone from a 13-point lead in the polls last September, to an 11-point lead six months later.
I followed up six weeks later, and again in July when anti-Brown spending had topped $10.5 million.
If you've ever longed for some glimmer of hope that the era of corporate-funded Super PACs won't completely overwhelm our democracy, this is it. If they can't blow Brown out of the water with an 8-figure ad blitz, it means that their ability to influence elections—while it exists!—isn't the be-all, end-all of politics.
In early August, it was clear we were going to kill it in this year's elections, and I wrote so. Among my reasons:
But what about conservative billionaires? How can we fight off the millions of Super PAC dollars as conservative billionaires try to buy the election? We already are. See those Obama poll numbers above? He has already faced nearly $100 million in conservative Super Pac attack ads and his numbers have gone up.

And it's not just Obama. Ohio Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown was supposed to be the most endangered senator this cycle—a freshman that was too crazy liberal for his closely divided state. As of early July, he had already faced $10.5 million in Super PAC attack ads, far more than any other. Yet through this year, his numbers have improved.

Maybe people have gotten good at tuning out attack ads. Or maybe they just skip commercials via DVR or online media consumption. Maybe it's a combination of the two. But whatever the reason, those millions being spent by conservative billionaires are all being wasted. The evidence is incontrovertible. So Karl Rove announces that he will spend $5 million targeting incumbent Senators in five states? Who cares! Rove has already spent $41.6 million and Democrats have only gotten stronger throughout the year.

Well, by the time Election Day rolled around, Brown had faced a crazy $40 million spent against him: $31 million on the air, $2 million in polling, $7 million in direct mail, and staff, billboards, and other expenses.

Remember, negative attacks serve one purpose—to make the target so radioactively unpopular, that malaria could defeat him or her at the polls.

In October of 2011, PPP had Brown's job approval ratings at 40-35. In late January he was at 42-34. On Election Day, he clocked in at 48-43.

In other words, all those attack ads moved Brown from a 5-point net-positive approval rating late last year, to ... a 5-point net-positive approval rating on Election eve.

That's not to say that the big money isn't a problem, and I have no doubt it had an outsized effect at the House level and below that, as well. We actually have concrete examples of big money moving elections in unexpected ways (that link points to a place where the result was good for progressives, but obviously that's not always the case).

But at the Senate and presidential levels? It was all wasted money. So two big questions moving forward: Can we make headway on a Constitutional Amendment banning such expenditures, and if not, will conservative billionaires keep wasting hundreds of millions trying to influence such races? Those guys may be assholes, but they didn't get rich by pissing money away ineffectively.

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Comment Preferences

  •  If I were a billionaire, I would be focusing on (32+ / 0-)

    the local government elections.

    You build your army from the ground up. City, county, state offices are relatively easy and inexpensive to fill with reliable, obedient foot soldiers.

    One does not just march into a federal election without any experience.

    Republicans espouse individualism, Democrats embrace citizenship.

    by SpiffPeters on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 08:39:31 AM PST

    •  Agreed ... (15+ / 0-)

      While the $100s of millions didn't swing the Senate, do we know what the impact was in 'tight' races?  Might we have some X number more rational members of Congress w/out the inane resources that Citizens United unleashed?

      And, while Sherrod Brown survived, we have no real idea how many 'down ballot' people did not.

      In addition, to what extent did Citizens United push political debate to bad arenas? For example, in Virginia, without the $10s of millions re the Presidential and Senate campaign advocating dirty energy policy, would the Presidential and Senate discussions been so coddling of coal interests?

      And, how many resources that might have been spent in better ways (for example, how many $s did progressives throw into political campaigns that they might, otherwise, have spent building something else -- whether donations to food banks or environmental education or ...)?

      Thus, we can be heartened that Citizens United has not led to a total purchase of the American political system, but we are far from being able to celebrate that these $s are meaningless and don't do damage to our political system.

      Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

      by A Siegel on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 08:54:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Money (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        had nothing to do with coddling to coal interests. Votes did.

        See 2008, 2004, 2000, etc for other recent examples.

        •  Actually, there is much reason to disagree ... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RLMiller, WarrenS

          Coal (and other industry) interests know how to 'wag the dog' in swing states such as Ohio and Virginia. These efforts, in coal country, are intense, long-term, and continuous.  The 'green' community has not, according to some analysis, incorporated this into its thinking.

          The real reason for the pro-Republican swing is that coal industry-sponsored groups, with the assistance of billionaire-funded right-wing groups like Americans for Prosperity, were on the ground in coal-mining regions for the past three years holding rallies, putting up billboards, generating massive turnout to public hearings and basically doing the kind of effective community organizing that is straight out of the progressive playbook.
          Now, what you seem to be suggesting is that Obama/et al are right to 'chase the votes' following a right-wing set agenda rather than working to foster a focus on a progressive agenda.  With all due respect, I do not know of a single other arena where you accede to / support such an approach.

          Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

          by A Siegel on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 02:27:20 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Money = Votes (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          At least, in many instances.

          Solar is civil defense. Video of my small scale solar experiments at solarray.

          by gmoke on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 02:58:26 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  I don't think it's that so much (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        A Siegel

        Campaign dollars are unlikely to be redirected to food banks, at least until we have public financing — a looooooong way off. I think one of the real issues is that the barrage of negative ads gins up cynicism in the electorate — the point where people go "A pox on all their houses." And that disadvantages sincere candidates of good intent because it's the people of goodwill who are most revolted and the people driven by hate, anger and fear who respond with action.

        Jon Husted is a dick.

        by anastasia p on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 10:17:31 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Their focus on local is already happening :( (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        qofdisks, A Siegel

        The local races are small enough that a big group like Americans fer Prosperity can dump more than enough mail and robocalls to make an impact but not enough for a given state's financial reporting laws to kick in.

        Witness what AFP did against a bunch of local park districts in Illinois last month by dumping a couple thousand $$ on mail and calls in each of these little towns while still flying under the radar because it didn't hit Illinois' $3000 reporting threshold --

        National group spent money to defeat parks bonds

        Cumulative AFP spent well over $3k but because it was all local races none of them went over $3k individually. People would've never even realized this happened if the local Tea Party didn't go around bragging about it.

        Those same groups are now recruiting for next spring's local elections -- mayors, village boards, etc.

        •  Thank you for this ... (0+ / 0-)

          the killing of a park bond is truly helpful to the nation. That article is rather terrifying in terms of deception.  The $1200 in tax increases using a gross number rather than the truthful 'this bond will provide for more parks in our community for an average cost of $50 per taxpayer per year ..."

          Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

          by A Siegel on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 07:33:31 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  My city council representative was given (9+ / 0-)

      $18,000 for re-election by a real estate group from outside the city. He is a 1%- and developer-friendly sort who ignores his constituents. The said councilmember mailed out three full-color ads for himself, while the opposition delivered their stuff door to door by hand, usually having photocopied it. The maximum contribution for these elections is $250 per person (I don't know how the real estate people get around this) so you would need a lot of wealthy people (not all people in Berkeley are wealthy, especially in the west of the city) to contribute to outdo the impact of that $18k.

      This is a councilmember who will stay bought, too, so for four more years we are stuck spending our evenings at City Council and the Planning Commission trying to defend our neighborhoods, typically to no avail. Then, if he is a good team player, the machine will run him for Assembly, moving the Assemblymember up to Senate when the state Senator, wife of the mayor whose machine this all is, decides it's time to leave politics.

      We all understand that freedom isn't free. What Romney and Ryan don't understand is that neither is opportunity. We have to invest in it.
      Julian Castro, DNC 4 Sept 2012

      by pixxer on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 09:05:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I understand that only about a half dozen (0+ / 0-)

      states have split legislatures and governorships.  That is, nearly all states are wholly controlled by either Republicans or Democrats.  My paper didn't give the counts.  I'd like to know.

      Even Democrats can be asses. Look at Rahm Emanuel.

      by Helpless on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 09:14:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thank you thanks you thank you... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      For this line:

      So what have those millions done to Brown's numbers? Here's a poll composite of the state, excluding Rasmussen's numbers:
      Rasmussen has long ago crossed over from impartial analyst to dedicated PR flack for the GOP.  For a long time people (even those who should know better) were still willing to give Ras the benefit of the doubt.  No more.  Ras is a conservative mouthpiece, his polls are shit, and his reputatoin is unsalvageable IMO.

      I'm not sixty-two—I'm fifty-twelve!

      by Pragmatus on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 09:15:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  A thousand times this. (0+ / 0-)

      "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

      by zenbassoon on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 09:16:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  diminishing marginal returns... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      WI Deadhead, qofdisks

      Yes - those billionaires who paid for ads against our President and our Senators just wasted their money.  Top of the ticket statewide candidates (President, Senate, Governor) are so well-funded nowadays that more money doesn't help much.  

      Citizens United is really scary when it comes down to local races.  Rich conservatives can now just buy state legislatures if they want to. Remember what happened in Kansas, where the Koch brothers bought the state Senate.

      Yes, Virginia, there is an alternative to the death penalty!

      by econlibVA on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 09:33:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The Koch brothers got rich the old fashioned way, (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        a2nite, auditor, qofdisks

        they inherited it from their daddy.  So maybe pissing it away is all they know how to do.

        My guess is that they and their ilk can buy Kansas, Oklahoma, Wyoming, Alabama, Mississippi and maybe Utah.   After that it gets more expensive.  All the billions in the world won't buy California or New York for your average rich wingnut.

        The sleep of reason brings forth monsters. --Goya

        by MadScientist on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 09:59:32 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  The problem with that is (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      the more local you are, the less you depend on money and the more you can depend on your foot soldiers — people you know. So this does not necessarily advantage billionaires. Unless you are suggesting they can somehow buy themselves mercenary foot soldiers?

      Jon Husted is a dick.

      by anastasia p on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 10:15:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  And also ballot initiatives nt (0+ / 0-)

      (R's) take those tired memes and shove 'em, Denise Velez Oliver, 11/7/2012.

      by a2nite on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 10:15:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  They've been doing that for decades (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      and been very effective - and the reason we have a gerrymandering problem.

      Also, do not forget the local judiciary - and some glaring Secretary of State problems.

      If not us ... who? If not here ... where? If not now ... when?

      by RUNDOWN on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 01:01:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  a tribute to the common sense of the electorate (7+ / 0-)

    ...I would say

    "Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. And don't be attached to the results." -- Angeles Arrien

    by Sybil Liberty on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 08:39:33 AM PST

    •  I think most people are able to recognize when (7+ / 0-)

      they are being manipulated.

      Many of these attack ads were so blatant and over the top that they were almost entertaining.

      Beware come the next election cycle for a more subtle, covert approach.

      Republicans espouse individualism, Democrats embrace citizenship.

      by SpiffPeters on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 08:42:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't think "subtle" exists in right-wing (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Maudlin, a2nite


        "Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. And don't be attached to the results." -- Angeles Arrien

        by Sybil Liberty on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 08:47:15 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Honestly ... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SpiffPeters, Minnesota Deb

        The 'dirty pollutor' and other anti-Obama ads were, from my perspective, of quite high production quality (not just) imo and, imo, had persuasive value for those w/out an existing robust understanding of the issues and consequences.  

        I am uncertain as to people's ability to understand the manipulation -- and credit the victories to a very skillful Presidential re-election team and damn hard work by many others.

        I wonder what the national vote, Senate & House make-up, and down-ballot results would have been w/out the flood of money.

        Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

        by A Siegel on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 08:57:48 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I agree production value was high on many ads (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          A Siegel

          but the messages were also over the top.

          And while Obama's campaign was a masterpiece of political strategy, the foot soldiers brought him the victory.

          Hopefully the next team of democrats setting up for a run in 2016 are laying the ground work now. They would do well to study how Obama fast tracked to the POTUS and defended a second term.

          Republicans espouse individualism, Democrats embrace citizenship.

          by SpiffPeters on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 09:06:58 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  You can't prove (0+ / 0-)

          persuasiveness because the data doesn't show it. The only time Obama's numbers moved where after the Democratic convention, and the first and second presidential debates.

          TV advertising didn't budge Obama's numbers once.

          The one place where TV ads worked in the presidential was after the GOP primaries, when Obama's team slammed Romney and no one on the GOP side responded. Even then, the slide could've been the waning of the bandwagon rally effect Romney got after getting the nomination. He did, after all, start the cycle in pretty shitty ground, even before Obama opened up on him.

          •  Please note ... (0+ / 0-)

            re "persuasiveness", I was trying to be clear that this was "imo" and not arguing that it was proven.  The 'imo' does, however, relate to discussions and interactions in the weeks/months before the election.  Living in a battleground state, the advertisements were overwhelming.  Some of the 'pro energy independence' advertising words emerged in conversations where people that I know (parents at school events, neighborhood gatherings, professional environments) raised questions w/me knowing that I am an 'energy geek'.  E.g., my impression -- living in a bombarded by TV ads state -- these messages were penetrating into people's consciousness.  I have not, however, done any systematic focus group analysis and recognized this is 'imo' and not 'according to X, Y, and Z data analysis'.

            My question re Citizens United and the potential of dollars having an impact (and, well, I have to wonder how many of the 100+ push poll calls were Citizens United; the 10+ lbs of mailings; etc -- and, by the way, for a variety of reasons that I'm not sure of (as someone who has solely been a D-registered voter in Virginia, going back decades now, I'm on some RNC (and like) lists and can get a lot of those 'inside the party' / 'sympathiser' calls/contacts)) becomes really something along these lines:

            Considering that,

            * The Democratic campaign at the national level -- and at many state levels -- was far better organized, targeted, and efficient with its use of its money;

            * The Republican message/thematic was/is, at its core, anathema to a majority of the population;

            * The Republican presidential candidate's resume / history was an easy target;

            * Romney (and a myriad of Republicans) sought to put two feet in their mouths at the same time (re rape; 47%; etc ...);

            * The Tea-Hadists have acted so reprehensively and been so vitriolic as to turn off increasing numbers of Americans;

            * The Republicans show themselves as disdaining facts / science / etc such that thinking / rational people are very easily turned off;

            * Americans don't have to look far into history to see the disaster that Republican ideology creates (Cheney-Bush regimes); and,

            * Etc ...

            With all of this, how do we end up w/the election not being even a stronger 'mandate' sweep?

            What if the D team had been as inept as the R team?

            Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

            by A Siegel on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 11:30:35 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  They'll lie so much that (0+ / 0-)

        their noses will shatter television screens across the nation.

      •  I think the Internet and social media help us (0+ / 0-)

        a lot.  

        Its a huge corrective messaging machine that can stomp lies out in a hurry, if correctly wielded.

        The sleep of reason brings forth monsters. --Goya

        by MadScientist on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 10:01:38 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I think the more obvious the money source (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        the less effective it is, which is why we need to start the fight back against Citizens United with stringent disclosure rules. When people see the source of the money — Linda McMahon, Meg Whitman, Carly Fiorina, to name a few — they are less likely to be bought.

        Jon Husted is a dick.

        by anastasia p on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 10:19:54 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  The difference between our attack ads and (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sue B, A Citizen

      their attack ads is that ours told the truth.

      We all understand that freedom isn't free. What Romney and Ryan don't understand is that neither is opportunity. We have to invest in it.
      Julian Castro, DNC 4 Sept 2012

      by pixxer on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 09:06:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  and (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Maudlin, Sybil Liberty, pixxer

        a party can only put out so many scare / attack ads, before the voter goes numb to them, or, worse, starts to wonder why, and why they are not talking about issues and solutions. I think the barrage backfired because of this.

        "Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government" T. Jefferson

        by azureblue on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 09:18:22 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  agreed, it seems a tad easy to give everyone (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          credit except the voters.

          I think there's plenty of credit to go around, so why not credit the voters. Otherwise the message would seem to be that our side only "manipulated" them better than their side.

          folks aren't generally speaking as dumb as other folks would like to believe

          "Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. And don't be attached to the results." -- Angeles Arrien

          by Sybil Liberty on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 09:50:05 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well, my comment was voter-friendly: (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Sybil Liberty

            Attack ads that are true work better than lies because voters, at least eventually, figure out what's what.

            We all understand that freedom isn't free. What Romney and Ryan don't understand is that neither is opportunity. We have to invest in it.
            Julian Castro, DNC 4 Sept 2012

            by pixxer on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 10:18:56 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  I can safely say that none (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        of the ads on behalf of Josh 'The Empty Suit" Mandel against Sherrod Brown told the truth. The Empty Suit is allergic to the truth. (It also helps us when the money is poured into a candidate as horrible as Joshie.)

        Jon Husted is a dick.

        by anastasia p on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 10:21:22 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  And the day I stopped worrying (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CherryTheTart, Bush Bites, KJG52, pixxer

    about Karl Rove and Crossroads GPS was the day a couple of months before the election when I saw their absurdly amateurish bobble-head Bill Nelson attack ad running over and over again all day long.  Anybody who knows the first thing about Florida politics would know that was a fool's errand.

    “What’s the use of having developed a science well enough to make predictions if, in the end, all we’re willing to do is stand around and wait for them to come true?” - Sherwood Rowland

    by jrooth on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 08:40:13 AM PST

    •  Mitt had a lot of amateurish ads too. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DuzT, KJG52, jrooth, here4tehbeer

      Misspellings, stolen design themes, impossible to navigate social media....and, you know, what the hell was Mitt's campaign slogan anyway?

      I really think some of the unsung heroes of this cycle were the creative people the Dems had on their side,

      Show us your tax returns !!!!!!

      by Bush Bites on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 08:52:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  so typical of mitt (0+ / 0-)

        They were giving away money to people who had no clue how to do there jobs, they were just well connected.

        "Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government" T. Jefferson

        by azureblue on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 09:20:30 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  What _wasn't_ his campaign slogan? (0+ / 0-)

        And remember, these were the guys who supposedly brought on those heavy-hitting "Ad Men" to make sure the messaging was always right on target.

        I'm guessing they would have had more luck with a blindfold and some of these.

        Fox News: Stupidity's Force Multiplier!

        by here4tehbeer on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 10:58:17 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  There is ample reason to never let Rove roam off (4+ / 0-)

      the radar.

      While this election is over and apparently was a complete fleecing of the financially elite by Rove, I have no doubt he is already game planning for the next cycle.

      This is what he does for a living. He will return and we better be ready for him.

      Republicans espouse individualism, Democrats embrace citizenship.

      by SpiffPeters on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 08:52:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  He made his reputation as a direct mail king. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        He seems inept in a 21st century media environment.

        Show us your tax returns !!!!!!

        by Bush Bites on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 08:54:43 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Rove has become our secret weapon, (0+ / 0-)

        we should do everything we can to act really scared of him.

        Though I didn't really stop worrying about him until he was jumping up and down, trying to get Fox to uncall Ohio.

        That was a beautiful moment, the moment the Republican party lost all credibility.

        The sleep of reason brings forth monsters. --Goya

        by MadScientist on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 10:05:49 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  The other day I was re-reading a great 2004 piece (0+ / 0-)

        from Vanity Fair: "The Trashing of John McCain", and one of the closing paragraphs was this:

        An old-time South Carolina Republican politico—an active insider in the McCain campaign in 2000 who relishes Atwater-style hardball and now supports Bush—offered to give me his view of Rove, but only if we spoke off the record. “Listen,” he finally said, “Karl Rove is the meanest son of a bitch in the world. Oh, man … there’s nothing he wouldn’t do to win a campaign. Winning is all that matters.”
        I doubt that will change any time soon.

        Fox News: Stupidity's Force Multiplier!

        by here4tehbeer on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 11:04:05 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  MY Money Was Well Spent (7+ / 0-)

    I knew I was putting it in the right place. Sen. Brown has consistently stood up for working people in Congress and he deserves the victory he got.

    Nicely done, Sherrod!

    •  Brown is a prominent member of the senate. (6+ / 0-)

      Even out here in Oregon he has high name recognition. He walks and talks like a traditional democrat.

      Eventually, the majority of democrats in congress will learn that the more they act like a democrat when in office and not on the campaign trail, the easier their job gets.

      Being a democrat is really quite easy, just do what the vast majority of citizens expect you to do.

      Republicans espouse individualism, Democrats embrace citizenship.

      by SpiffPeters on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 08:46:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly Right (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        That's why I contributed to him and Elizabeth Warren (and others), even though I live in Washington. If a politician works hard for this country the way they have they deserve our support from all over the country.

      •  Sherrod spent most of his campaign (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        talking about jobs and trade, his pet topics. He also talked about taking care of veterans and seniors, lots of bread-and-butter issues like that. The other side could scream "Liberal! Liberal! Liberal!" until they were hoarse, but Josh "The Empty Suit" Mandel refused to say what he stood for (even telling one Ohio paper that he didn't need to take a public position on an issue because he wasn't in D.C. voting on it yet) on most issues, other than that he is vehemently against women's right. In Ohio, you are going to see that stance be poison for a candidate in upcoming years.

        Jon Husted is a dick.

        by anastasia p on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 10:24:35 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  $40 million, huh? (5+ / 0-)

    Only one thing to say to that:

    "If you're going to go down with the ship, make it a submarine." - Wayne Shorter

    by Oliver Tiger on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 08:43:09 AM PST

  •  Sort of like having too much ice cream (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CherryTheTart, DuzT, pixxer, Aunt Pat

    all you get is a belly ache.  Being here in IN, the CrossRoads ads for Mourdock became more of a pain in the neck for everybody rather than rallying the base.  Once the politicos realize this the money will be channeled to more productive ways.  What ways?  That will show up in 2014.

  •  We know when someone tries to buy an election (6+ / 0-)

    The more these people campaign, the more it can actually backfire. The saturation of TV time with ads was just too much. Plus, Romney and Ryan were so out of touch, their numbers actually dropped when both campaigned in Ohio. This is a sign of hope after the Citizen United Decision. Still, it needs to be reversed. You could clearly see the damage in the house. And it will be worse in 2014 and 2016.

    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat


  •  At least the money gets spread around (6+ / 0-)

    must be good for local businesses like printing companies etc. But look at how much money Fiorini, Whitmann and the bitch from CT (twice no less) spent. All down the drain. LOL.

  •  I hate being mathematically challenged. (6+ / 0-)

    I wish I had known and believed in August we would win.  It would have saved me a lot of bigtime anxiety.

    I used to be Snow White. And then I drifted. - Mae West

    by CherryTheTart on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 08:44:55 AM PST

  •  2016 (5+ / 0-)

    Sherrod Brown for President in 2016!

    •  Now THERE'S a thought! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pixxer, Aunt Pat

      At least put him as Veep with Schweitzer. No "East Coast Liberal Bias" there. That'd piss off the Red Staters more than Clinton (AR) and Gore (TN)!

      "If you're going to go down with the ship, make it a submarine." - Wayne Shorter

      by Oliver Tiger on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 08:57:41 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Running against Clinton, Biden, and Warren? :) nt (0+ / 0-)

      We all understand that freedom isn't free. What Romney and Ryan don't understand is that neither is opportunity. We have to invest in it.
      Julian Castro, DNC 4 Sept 2012

      by pixxer on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 09:10:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Brown (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Brown has shown twice now that he can win Ohio by more than a quarter-million votes. As you know, no Republican has ever won the Presidency without winning Ohio.

        I don't take Biden seriously as a candidate in 2016. Do you? To the extent he is, I would think those voters would be more likely to support Clinton than either Warren or Brown. I think he'll run, and I think he'll get twice as much support as he got in 2008. About ten percent or so.

        I love Elizabeth Warren, but she has no foreign policy experience and this was her first election. I think she'd be an excellent VP candidate, but somehow I doubt that she's going to spend a year and a half in the Senate and then start running for President.

        If Elizabeth Warren and Hillary Clinton both run, isn't that likely to divide the votes of people who would like to see a woman as President? One thing for sure, if the race started out as Brown, Warren, and Clinton, it would quickly narrow to Clinton and one other. And we saw how that played out in 2008.

        And I believe the South still gets delegates to the Democratic National Convention. Would they go for Clinton or Warren? They might go for Schweitzer, but where can Schweitzer find the financial backing to run a national campaign? I think it's more likely he'll primary Max Baucus in 2014.

  •  technology (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    maryabein, DuzT, MadEye

    The first time a get a new tech toy, I never get it to work correctly--Citizen's United is such a toy--next time out, it will be more effective--probably less obvious.

    Apres Bush, le deluge.

    by melvynny on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 08:46:25 AM PST

    •  They'd better start practicing in the barrio. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      •  Rubio (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        If Romney was Rubio--nothing else needed to be different--he would have won.  The Spanish vote is the game changer--the swing population.

        Apres Bush, le deluge.

        by melvynny on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 08:55:30 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  wrong (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          pamelabrown, RLF

          Latins dont vote latin just cause he's there,
          we look at issue, we know who is there for us, even when others say they are, Rubio is a cuban not just a latin and a repub. Latins know their values dont match what we want economically or socially. I voted for white people when they said or did the right thing, i wont vote for latins who arent about doing the right thing.

          I think Jesus meant christian as a verb not a noun

          by rageagnstmach on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 09:07:52 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  root (0+ / 0-)

            A lot of people root for the home team.

            Apres Bush, le deluge.

            by melvynny on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 09:12:01 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Whom (0+ / 0-)

              So did you vote for Romney (im only saying this if your white ) or did you vote for President Obama because he is the right choice..
              Me too i voted for the guy that was the Right choice for me not because hes black and im not black im Latin.
              I wont vote for a Cuban Repulican and wont vote for any Republican at all. Black white brown Carmel green any of them

              I think Jesus meant christian as a verb not a noun

              by rageagnstmach on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 10:21:14 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  Wow (0+ / 0-)

          complete (and borderline offensive) misunderstanding of the Latino vote.

          Not to mention, Romney could've gotten 50 percent of the Latino vote and he still would've lost.

          •  why (0+ / 0-)

            Are Latino voters different from African American voters?  Caribbeans, rural and urban blacks voted as one--much more than 50% for BO--not because he has been so good for them, not because they historically vote in such large numbers--but because they have pride--they know that if "one of theirs" can make it to the top, maybe their children can also.  Not wow--just old fashioned voting for your own kind.

            Apres Bush, le deluge.

            by melvynny on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 10:03:41 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Sure blacks voted for Obama by a huge margin (0+ / 0-)

              but it is also true that blacks vote Democratic in general by huge margins.  Its partially a natural consequence of the Southern strategy and partly because Dems have treated minorities better, historically.

              The sleep of reason brings forth monsters. --Goya

              by MadScientist on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 10:13:17 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Evidence? (0+ / 0-)

              To begin with, what's the difference between the proportion of African American votes Obama got versus other Dems? Kerry, Gore, Mondale, Dukakis - they all got about 90% of the African American vote. Clinton got a bit less. Obama a few points more. Given the context of racism and voter-suppression by Republicans aimed at African Americans, you'd expect the Dem running against Romney to do better among African Americans than Dems have done historically.

              Rubio might attract more Cuban votes than Romney. But beyond that, he'd face problems with the Republican base on the immigration issue. If he played Michelle Malkin, he'd alienate Latinos. If he went moderate on immigration, he'd risk being called soft on it in the primaries (like Rick Perry).

              When you play identity politics, you have to go all in. If you try to play both sides, you run into problems, either on your left flank or your right.

        •  Rubio would have lost (0+ / 0-)

          He's Cuban. Less than 4% of American Hispanics are Cuban. And among those, the younger ones are getting more liberal. Mario Rubio ain't got nuttin'.

          Jon Husted is a dick.

          by anastasia p on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 10:26:06 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Yo KOS, don't teach them how to get better. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TKO333, hoof32

    Let them keep spending money on the Air War.

  •  assuming no major (0+ / 0-)

    scandals or health problems i expect sherrod brown to be in the senate for decades, one caveat, becoming potus, which isn't out of the question imho.

  •  Billionaires make investments (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DuzT, KJG52, a2nite

    with risks attached. If they can sway an election by tossing away millions, it means that their rewards if they win are far greater than the money that they pissed away by losing. If they win, they own the candidate. They can squeeze their lackey for tax advantages and trade deals themselves worth hundreds of millions, perhaps billions in profits.

    Think of the profits made by media corporations because of the Citizens United ruling, or by Clinton's Telecommunications Act, or Clinton's signing of the Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act. Think of the potential profits to be made by privatizing Medicare and Social Security. That's where the big profits are to be made, and that's why corporate donors were willing to place their bets with the GOP.

    Adelson's tens of millions dumped into a losing campaign could have meant billions in loopholes, tax credits, trade deals, and a smaller risk of being prosecuted for felony money laundering and espionage charges. What did he lose? For Shelly, it's comparable to paying a deductible to fix water damage in your garage.

  •  So . . . why _is_ that? (3+ / 0-)

    Can anyone explain why $40M didn't seem to have much of an effect here?  Are there larger lessons to be learned?  Is it because of the money Brown spent rebutting them?  Or the peculiar circumstances of Ohio ("Let Detroit Go Bankrupt", the looney state GOP and SB-5, or the suppress the vote backlash)?


    •  I think Brown is a solid, traditional democrat. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bush Bites, Aunt Pat, hoof32

      He has good name recognition and knows which battles to wage. He's smart.

      But Romney and the GOP ran a campaign that was like watching a Keystone cop movie. It seemed like most news cycles for the past several months were dominated by blooper, blunders and foot in mouth remarks by republican candidates at every level. I even wondered at one point if Romney was actually trying to throw the election - it seemed to be the only reasonable explanation for the things he had said or done.

      Republicans espouse individualism, Democrats embrace citizenship.

      by SpiffPeters on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 09:00:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  They had nothing on Josh Mandel's campaign (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        This weenie (Sherrod's opponent) managed to alienate all of the state's big conservative newspapers six months before the election. As far as I know, he didn't get a single major endorsement and some of the editorials were scorching. The Akron Beacon-Journal, for instance, called him a "cartoon candidate" and an "SNL skit." And those were among the nicer comments.

        Jon Husted is a dick.

        by anastasia p on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 10:31:43 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Team Obama kept hammering on the auto bailout. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aunt Pat, Zinman, hoof32, a2nite

      So that must have been a big deal in Ohio.

      Also, Brown's opponent looked and acted like a wingnut kid who needed to be spanked and sent to his room. I honestly couldn't imagine any sane person voting for him.

      Show us your tax returns !!!!!!

      by Bush Bites on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 09:02:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Also, Too (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rhauenstein, anastasia p, Getreal1246

      Josh Mandel was a horribly dislikable and transparent candidate that brought a weak and smarmy game with him.

      Voters in Ohio clearly recognized him as a job-hopping carpetbagger, and a smirking punk.  That doesn't play well in Callahooga County.

      "Sell 'crazy' someplace else, we're all stocked up here." -Melvin Udall

      by hoof32 on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 09:49:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Sherrod focused on issues people cared about (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      His opponent, Josh "The Empty Suit" Mandel, was the worst Senate candidate in the country overall (not talking about people who accidentally spewed something that killed their campaign in an instant). Joshie was arrogant and unresponsive, refused to tell voters his positions on most issues, refused to appear at public events outside of Tea Party events, blatantly lied to all the state's big dailies and antagonized them early on so that they endlessly called him out, despite being extremely conservative. He is a nasty, unethical, lying little twerp trying to be a bully whose enormous ambition (White House, here I come!) is not bolstered by any desire to assemble an actual resume.

      It helps to have an opponent like The Empty Suit.

      And Sherrod's just a good guy who listens to people and inspires loyalty.

      Jon Husted is a dick.

      by anastasia p on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 10:30:10 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Ohio Stimulus Package (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nicejoest, TKO333, Aunt Pat, hoof32

    As has been pointed out before, that's a good chunk of money poured into the Ohio economy.  Even if some of it was spent on DC based firms, probably 3/4 - $30 million - went to Ohio.  Wooo Hooo!!!  Got to love that free Republican money!!!

    It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

    by ksuwildkat on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 08:52:29 AM PST

  •  "Tivo" Effect? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WestWind, Aunt Pat, schnecke21

    I wondered about this during this election.

    I rarely watch live TV anymore other than for some sporting events. Usually, it is recorded on a PVR and played back later. When I do that, I fast forward through commercials.

    I'm wondering what percentage of the electorate is doing that and what effect that has on the number of ads each voter sees during an election cycle.

    In addition, I'm wondering whether people are more likely to FF through negative ads than they are to FF through positive ones. My guess is yes based on my own visceral reaction to both but I have not data to back that up.

  •  Hahahahaha! Isn't this rich? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DuzT, nicejoest, Aunt Pat

    Some of the nations biggest asshats provided $Billions in stimulus spending, uplifting our faltering economy, and encouraging the electorate to return President Obama to office.

  •  Message matters (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DuzT, Aunt Pat

    Be careful, it is not that they pissed away their money, it was because a lot of democrats realized that the message matters.

    With the days of unlimited money here, the opposition will more than likely get that money.  Progressives and democrats will get some of the money, but not as much as they will.

    This is not the first time in history democrats will be in this dilemma.   FDR and the democrats back tehn went up against the money and they realized that the populist message matters and that will win any day.

    Obama, and Brown realized this and alot more democrats realzied this.  Blanche lincoln and others who did not see the writing on teh wall tried to not run on populism they got wiped out (mccaskil may not have run on populism but she did run on a message of the people to protect women).  if warner and hagan do not realize this and play to the corporations in the next cycle they might get wiped out also.  although landrieu will face an uphill battle regardless, because sometimes the message doesnt matter in these states.  but hopefully from a primary perspective it still does...

  •  Our money had a big impact defining Romney (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DuzT, Aunt Pat

    immediately after he got the GOP nom, and before he seemed to have his act together to promote himself.  We need to remember that for next time -- it's EARLY spending on attack ads that has an impact on defining your opponent, not necessarily BIG spending.


    That is all.

  •  Emphasis should be placed on (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DuzT, Minnesota Deb, hoof32, a2nite

    "this" election.

    Citizens United has just hatched and stretched its wings. The monster will be older and wiser as time progresses.

    It needs killing now.

    Maybe one day the Fourth Estate will take their jobs seriously. Or not..

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 08:56:51 AM PST

  •  1st comes good policy, and 2nd, well thoughtout (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    messaging. Then, the money. It's a logical and winning progression.
    Repubs had it completely bassackwards throughout.

    Fuck Big Brother...from now on, WE'RE watching.

    by franklyn on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 09:00:25 AM PST

  •  Rich GOPers will spend $40 million to defeat 1 Dem (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DuzT, Minnesota Deb, a2nite, schnecke21

    but scream about paying the same amount to the US Treasury to fund the wars they support or to pay toward the national debt that they claim to be so worried about.

    The 6 Billion spent on the 2012 campaign would have gone a long way to finance programs that have been put on the austerity chopping block.  

    Hypocrites--every one of them.  

  •  The thought of (0+ / 0-)

    hundreds of millions of right-wing dollars being pissed down the toilet in a fruitless attempt to buy our government warms the cockles of my heart.

  •  He sells Democratic values and policy to voters (5+ / 0-)

    and he's a darn good campaigner.

    Sherrod Brown is one of those rare, principled politicians who isn't afraid to go into conservative communities and sell them on the benefits of a healthy economy, good jobs, fairness for the middle class/working class. He's not afraid to sell, I mean really sell, the idea that we should continue to fund education, provide affordable health care for everyone and protect seniors and others.

    He's not afraid to tell conservative voters that we can do all these things, raise the middle class, and not hurt employers or the economy.

    Sherrod has to campaign in some really radically conservative areas in Ohio.  He's not afraid to do it, he's not afraid to engage these people in meaningful dialogue and sell the Dem Party's policy and ideas.

    His approach is really basic and fairly simple.  Jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs. Be a friendly pit bull, don't back down from the values and ideas that you stand for.

    Every Democrat running for or holding office should take a lesson from Sen. Brown's approach and how he wins.  Its a great lesson to learn.

    Please stand by. I'm looking for a new sig line.

    by Betty Pinson on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 09:05:11 AM PST

  •  I would like to see Citizens United referenda (0+ / 0-)

    on state ballots in 2014. It would help drive turnout in a non-presidential year and hopefully provide some focus and momentum on this issue.

  •  Money can't buy you LOVE -- didn't somebody say (0+ / 0-)


    "The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave." -- Patrick Henry November 6, 2012 MA-4 I am voting for my friends Barry, Liz and Joe (Obama, Warren and Kennedy)

    by BornDuringWWII on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 09:06:20 AM PST

  •  How about he $40 plus million... (0+ / 0-)

    Linda through at Murphy in the small state of CT and how little she got in return. It is what they believe and as long as we can hammer them with their beliefs, we win.

    Plato's " The Cave" taught me to question reality.

    by CTDemoFarmer on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 09:07:03 AM PST

  •  Television: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Minnesota Deb

    It's high time to address the 800 lb. gorilla in the room. Big media needs to be made to face up to the detrimental effects of our media, especially television.
    That's where most of the money is wasted.
    TV is the tool with which the wealthy plutocrats are attempting to derail our democracy.
    TV is also the media through which terrorists hope to leverage their acts of terror. It is complicit both in what it shows and what it decides to hide from the people.
    TV has shortened the attention span and reduced literacy in America.
    TV highlights divisions in our country, exacerbates them for ratings.
    As internet based media continues to grow in influence, it will also be due more criticism, however, at this point, it is more open to self-criticism than big time commercial media.

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 09:07:18 AM PST

  •  I suspect much of their money wasn't well spent (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Minnesota Deb

    I wrote a comment about the Romney campaign yesterday that may be relevant.

    In short, it looks to me like the primary goal of the third party "super PACs" wasn't electing candidates. It was moving money from donor's wallets into the pockets of the person running the PAC (or campaign) and their cronies.

    I suspect that had they all spent their money more wisely, it could have had more of an impact. I suspect they'll do so next time around because otherwise they will be out of business.

    All the more reason to fix elections. Clean money, clean elections; non-partisan redistricting; improved and universal early/absentee voting; same-day registration; and enhanced protection of voters' rights.

  •  What fraction of the Koch Bros' wealth (0+ / 0-)

    was actually spent on this election? Adelson's? Others'?

    We all understand that freedom isn't free. What Romney and Ryan don't understand is that neither is opportunity. We have to invest in it.
    Julian Castro, DNC 4 Sept 2012

    by pixxer on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 09:08:04 AM PST

  •  Our money should be used a couple ways: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pamelabrown, a2nite, schnecke21

    1.  GOTV

    2.  The right message and targeted advertising

    3.  Off year messaging--letting people know what you're doing, and why it's good for them and all that stuff.

    4.  GOTV

    5.  Targeted negative advertising defining the opponent by his message.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 09:15:44 AM PST

  •  They will be slow to change. (0+ / 0-)

    This is where the right-wing bubble helps us.  These guys (or others of their ilk) will keep writing big check and keep spending it on negative advertising for another couple cycles because they won't let the data in and will continue to believe that THIS TIME the ad will have an effect.  Eventually they will figure out how to spend this money more efficiently.  But it will take awhile.

    "Unrestricted immigration is a dangerous thing -- look at what happened to the Iroquois." Garrison Keillor

    by Spider Stumbled on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 09:16:34 AM PST

  •  Is there a hidden benefit (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    to Citizen's United? There were billions of dollars spent on advertizing, polling, and other political activities. That money is no longer in the Swiss or Cayman Island accounts of the major funders. Hearing that the Koch brothers and Sheldon Adelson parted with hundreds of millions of dollars with little to show for it is quite a heartwarming story. It makes me think that ridiculously stupid Supreme Court decision may have done some good this time.

  •  I think they will try and figure out other ways (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Minnesota Deb, a2nite

    ... to use their money. I think they realize TV ads and nasty direct mail attack pieces aren't doing the trick anymore.

    So what can they do with all that cash to move the needle?

    Perhaps we should brainstorm ways they will move next so we can anticipate their next move and prepare countermeasures (beyond working continuously on getting this money out of politics).

  •  We didn't win the war, yet. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    But we did win the latest battle. We beat Big Money this time.

    This election was kind of a Cinco de Mayo moment for democracy. With this victory under our belt to encourage us, maybe we can do it again and again, as often as necessary.

  •  I disagree completely. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    CU should still scare the crap out of us.

    The spending against Brown was merely one of many attacks. It failed, yes, but they will find other means of attack, and some of them will be more effective.

    Conservatives have these failures repeatedly, but the money flood always gets larger.

    "What could BPossibly go wrong??" -RLMiller "God is just pretend." - eru

    by nosleep4u on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 09:24:23 AM PST

  •  GOP ad campaign (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I once read that nothing will kill a rotten product faster than good advertising.

    Maybe the GOP is on the right track


  •  I saw three groups of voters (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    1 - the "we will vote party no matter what, and believe any ad that we see"
    2 - The "we will watch the ads, but we will verify."
    3- the "we will do our own research on the 'net, and make our own decisions, and we will become very suspicious of someone who tries to scare us into voting" group.

    The GOP, as through out their entire campaign, ignored the internet and voters' using it for factual research. Except for those who have drunk the kool aid, most people are not as ignorant and as easily fooled as the GOP thought. I had a few elderly relatives who are familiar with using the net for research (mostly for consumer information), send me a RW email, and I would reply with references back to refutation. ALWAYS, they responded with "I didn't know that, and thanks for sending me the links." Over the campaign, one relative would send me RW emails and ask for responses. I think she was sending them out to her friends. The upshot was she went from being a GOPer to a Democrat solely because she became suspicious of the barrage of scare tactics. I think the turning point was when I pointed out to her that there was no substance to the ads- they were all attacks, but very vague when talking about what the GOP plans were.

    "Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government" T. Jefferson

    by azureblue on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 09:32:51 AM PST

  •  I fear trickle up (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    This anonymous money can certainly have an outsize effect on the down ballot races, and that is my fear. They have already proven to be patient and long term thinkers. By buying multiple state houses one race at a time they can accelerate the push to disenfranchise the "wrong" voters.

    I am very glad they pissed away those hundreds of millions on senate and presidential candidates, but imagine what could have happened if they had spent all of it on local races instead. is America's Blog of Record

    by WI Deadhead on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 09:38:19 AM PST

  •  First rule of pissing contests... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    don't piss into the wind cuz blow back is a bitch!  

    Sure was fun watching the GOP wet themselves.

    Live so that when your children think of fairness, caring and integrity, they think of you. H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

    by Ellen Columbo on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 09:47:12 AM PST

  •  Good post, Kos (0+ / 0-)

    I was also glad that the big right wing money didn't win the day.  But I worry that now that the GOP brand has been damaged, the Kochs and Adelsons will recognize that the best way to advance their agenda is to start backing shitty corporate Democrats.  The Republicans are in disarray and will be at a political disadvantage for at least one or two more election cycles, so I think we need to be on the alert for conservative funders to shift their resources to puppet Democrats.

    How can we have a third party when we don't even have a second party?

    by Eagleye on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 09:47:42 AM PST

  •  Love, love, love Sherrod Brown! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    He is my idea of the perfect Senator. He is an uncompromising liberal. And he won!!! Being a liberal!!!

  •  I'm pleased that the super pac money did not (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, anastasia p

    decide this election, but I'm less accepting of the benchmark.  Yes, Brown's poll numbers did not drop far following the onslaught, but that small difference should not be seen as the total effect.  Brown's numbers without the net ads against him may well have risen 5 points, or more. I'm not as willing to dismiss the subversion of democracy this money represents.

    "It is not, you fucking liberal prick." ..My RW friend Dave's last words to me.

    by rb608 on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 10:01:59 AM PST

    •  I agree with you, rb608 (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      My sense is that there were a lot of people out there who, because of the negative ads, felt that Sherrod "is a terrible senator," but for no particular reason — and they didn't like Josh Mandel either. So they voted for Scott Rupert or they didn't vote at all.

      Jon Husted is a dick.

      by anastasia p on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 10:37:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I was canvassing in Ohio during GOTV and (0+ / 0-)

    we had a discussion amongst those that had arrived from our export state.  Why were people so enthused to vote for President Obama but lukewarm or indifferent towards Brown?  We asked one retired union organizer who was a door on our list to help explain it.  He said Brown doesn't seem to be there for his constituents.  Another person told us Brown was abrasive and hard to like.

  •  It's also an indication of the strength of Brown. (0+ / 0-)

    He's a major rising star in the Democratic Party who doesn't get the attention he deserves.  I don't know if he has national ambitions but he certainly has national potential.  That and perhaps the best voice in politics.  

  •  As rich as these mean old goats are .... (0+ / 0-)

    they can't be happy with the diminished returned and the hurt on their messiah complexes that their money got them ... I wonder if these - at heart - cheap cranks will be a bit more tight with the wallet or will they be as gullible as ever?  

  •  Money wasn't wasted: profits were made (0+ / 0-)

    by those favored by the Republicans. I'm afraid certain media outlets and propagandists got richer.

    FYI, Sherrod Brown's bio is absolutely riveting:

  •  Well at least they spent some of their hoard (0+ / 0-)

    instead of continuing to hoard the money.

    Since they won't invest the money in building anything productive in our economy that would put people to work we should raise taxes on their income and wealth so that money can be unlocked and put to work.

  •  On a smaller scale, but same conclusion (0+ / 0-)


    Mia Love vs Jim Matheson

    On November 3rd

    New poll shows Love ahead of Matheson

    4th District race draws big money from both parties

    Roughly $10,000,000 has been spent on Utah’s 4th Congressional District race so far. The money is coming from individual donors, the national parties, PACs and Super PACs.

    Love lost!

    It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

    by War on Error on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 12:22:06 PM PST

  •  One election is not determinative (0+ / 0-)
    will conservative billionaires keep wasting hundreds of millions trying to influence such races? Those guys may be assholes, but they didn't get rich by pissing money away ineffectively.
    Many of them didn't get rich by giving up after their first attempt, either.  They will get better.  They will learn how to make their money more effective.  That's why this needs to be nipped in the bud.
  •  The risk is more local (0+ / 0-)

    Citizens United appears to be having significant impacts on local races.  Judges, in particular.  It may be that the damage is more limited in races that have large audiences, but it is still a horrible, evil influence on our democracy.  

  •  But that is 40M some of which went cam out of the (0+ / 0-)

    pockets of M&Bllionares and went into the pockets of middle class folk.

    It may be the only way to get money out of the 1% and back into the economy.

    I think it is called cutting your nose off to despise your own face.

  •  All the money was pocketed via the "Colbert (0+ / 0-)


  •  Sherrod Brown is an isolated case. (0+ / 0-)

    He has been seen on major news more often than any other democratic politician excluding a few.

    His passion and his loyalty to Americans is why he was re-elected.  Good for him and the country.

  •  i would be happy if they actually pissed the money (0+ / 0-)


    i've got no links but the web is tightly weaved.

    i'm pretty sure the monies spent on all attack ads will recycle thru shell companies to eventually rest right back into the same super pacs that donated

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