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Illustration of dirty money
Two data points. First up, EMILY's List:
EMILY's List raised $7.3 million in the first four months of 2013, a record for that period in the pro-abortion rights group's nearly three-decade existence. The group also tallied more donors than ever in the same time period.
The DCCC:
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) had a record-breaking fundraising haul in the first quarter, bringing in $22.6 million with strong support from members and online donations.
Once upon a time, these organizations and others like them received heavy support from wealthy individuals. Citizens United shifted those big-donor dollars into unregulated 527s, seemingly starving the party committees and other non-527 political organizations of a huge chunk of their budgets.

Instead, smart organizations have transitioned toward building their grassroots base, building out email action lists and integrating deeper into social networks. The results speak for themselves—they aren't just holding steady, they're breaking fundraising records. And not only are they bringing in more money, but an organization beholden to its grassroots will be far more responsive and less corruptible than one that depends on a few individuals.

Conservatives hoped this would cripple liberals, allowing their billionaires to swamp the political system with untold millions. Yet conservative Super PACs (like FreedomWorks and Karl Rove's Crossroads) have proven incredibly adept at syphoning up conservative millions without delivering anything much in the way of results. Meanwhile, less-funded progressive groups like American Bridge and Majority PAC have proven far more effective. Look at the comparative numbers here. It's not even close.

And that's not even including the rise of Michael Bloomberg's dual-headed anti-gun machine—Mayors Against Illegal Guns and Independence USA. Two organizations that are reshaping what was once a one-sided "debate" over guns.

Just because liberals are benefitting better from this fundraising regime doesn't mean it's ideal, and a Constitutional Amendment repealing Citizens United would still be the desired outcome. But liberal wishes alone won't make it happen. We need conservatives as well, and their inability to take advantage of this post-CU world might finally make that happen.

Indeed, at this pace, they may need it just to keep pace.

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