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Former White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove is seen at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida August 27, 2012.
The Republican Party’s on the hunt ahead of 2016 for younger voters — and younger megadonors.

Conservative super PACs were dealt a blow in the past nine months, when two of their biggest benefactors died, Texas billionaires Harold Simmons and Bob Perry.

Combined, the two men, who were the second- and third-biggest donors behind the Adelsons in the 2012 elections, gave nearly $50 million last cycle — that’s more money than the next 10 Republican donors combined.

The void the two leave behind represents an even bigger problem for the Republican Party: just as it struggles to attract younger voters, it also must win over younger elite donors.

But if you think about it, this isn't a problem for the Republican Party—it's a problem for Republican grifter-consultants like Karl Rove and grifter-candidates like Newt Gingrich who bilk wealthy donors out of millions and deliver nothing but a steady stream of defeats in return. Without rich idiots giving them money to burn, their business model dries up—but even if they do find a new generation of financial backers, the GOP will still be stuck with the same problems it has today.

Consider the difference between Karl Rove's Crossroads and Priorities USA, the Democratic Super PAC that supported President Obama. Crossroads spend nearly $200 million, including more than $100 million for Mitt Romney, while Priorities spent $65 million. (And we're not even talking about Restore our Future, the Romney Super PAC that spent $142 million backing Romney's campaign.)

Despite their massive advantage in oversized donations from super-wealthy individuals, the Republican PACs were blown away by their Democratic rivals like Priorities, who were not only more efficient on the technical side (in terms of buying media), but also produced ads that had a much bigger impact on the race. Running on what was at the time a shoestring budget, Priorities managed to develop the Bain narrative about Romney, influencing the campaign in a way that neither Rove nor any other GOP super PAC came close to doing.

It's not that money isn't important. If Priorities hadn't gotten any funding it all, it wouldn't have been able to do what it did. But money is only one part of the equation. And when you consider the GOP's problems, not having enough money is far down on the list. But for the guys like Karl Rove who get rich by burning other people's cash, it's a big problem indeed.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Damn, that's a lot of cash (12+ / 0-)

    So aren't they just going to hit up the heirs? It would seem to me they'd be horses of the same color as their daddies were.

    And maybe we'll get lucky in 2014 and Adelson will finally get indicted and be unable to push so much $$$ into the GOP hate machine.

    There are lies, damn lies, and statistics but they all pale in comparison to conservative talking points.

    by ontheleftcoast on Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 05:34:52 PM PST

    •  That's funny (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aunt Pat, ontheleftcoast

      Sheldon is too well connected in Las Vegas to get busted for anything.  After all, the current mayor is the wife of the Mafia's mouthpiece, and he was Mayor before her.  

      And Jon Stewart thought Jersey was corrupt!  They do it better in Las Vegas; they rarely get caught!

      ... the watchword of true patriotism: "Our country - when right to be kept right; when wrong to be put right." - Carl Schurz; Oct. 17, 1899

      by NevDem on Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 06:21:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Guess the question is, just how many (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ontheleftcoast, raboof, Aunt Pat

    Zuckerbergs do they think are out there?

  •  Problem number two comes because of the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat

    increased concentration of wealth among only a few people.  Where are all these "young billionaires" going to come from? And how sure are they that they will be as conservative as they want them to be?

    "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 Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 05:44:01 PM PST

  •  When numbers like these get thrown around (4+ / 0-)

    That these assholes are willing to spend this much to get their way, it makes me weep for humanity, or their inhumanity. People are starving, underemployed and underpaid and yet these robber baron wannabees want to deny foodstamps, extended unemployment and a living wage to the rest of the country. It sickens me.

  •  Can't David and Charles Koch fill the shortfall? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat, bartcopfan, RUNDOWN

    What's a few more billion to them? Citizens United and other campaign finance laws allows them to enlarge and enrich the Kochtopus infinitely.

  •  Getting money from the wealthy is smart (0+ / 0-)

    This is once again is a point about how republicans have better tactics than the left.

    The wealthy are powerful.  This will always be the case.

    There is ZERO reason to push them away when they are willing to support our causes.

    Courting the wealthy is pure and simple a SMART move.

    The refusal of some leftists to recognize this simple fact is part of reason why leftists fail to make as much headway as many of us would like.

    There are many tactics which the republican party uses which are morally neutral and far more effective than the democratic alternatives.

    •  What price is your humanity worth, though? (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aunt Pat, ferg, rat racer, bluemeanies, RUNDOWN

      The cost of getting those donations from rich benefactors often comes at a very, very steep price. Like cutting social safety nets, or pushing for "free trade" deals. Thanks but no thanks, the grass roots is where we need to operate and fight them. It's our only hope if we want to win the fight and recognize ourselves in the mirror after the battles.

      There are lies, damn lies, and statistics but they all pale in comparison to conservative talking points.

      by ontheleftcoast on Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 06:11:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  No the cost is giving up your blinders (0+ / 0-)

        Courting the wealthy requires none of the things you are referring to.  It only requires that party give up your personal biases and develop a real plan to acquire support.

        Your exact post and I presume opinions are part of the reason why democrats are ineffective.

        Any personal bias against ANY group makes you far less effective, black, white, rich, poor , gay or strait.  Biases are a weakness.

        Obama's grass roots power shows how powerful it is.

        Being on the sane and logical end of most arguments, having a democratic super majority, actually being a smart person Obama, and having the support of your "grass roots" organization  honestly has gotten less of his agenda done than Bushy

        "grass roots" is just another term for "ineffective"

        •  Riiiiight.. (0+ / 0-)

          So you want more corporate ownership of the Democratic party? That's you're solution to what's wrong with it? Congrats. You're now officially a DLC suck up. Guess you'll be happy when Hillary runs in '16.

          There are lies, damn lies, and statistics but they all pale in comparison to conservative talking points.

          by ontheleftcoast on Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 07:59:49 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  So you believe that all wealthy people (0+ / 0-)

            have the exact same opinions and that there is no diversity of opinions within that group?

            Im having a hard time thinking of the word. It starts with a p


            prejudice.. ya thats what that word I was looking for.

            My personal preference would be Warren or maybe Sanders. But you know, dont let information stop you from playing in the kids park.

            •  Have you been paying attention for the last few (0+ / 0-)

              years? Yes, there are exceptional and rare wealthy, and I mean Walton heir or Koch money rich, that aren't fans of the oligarchy. But they're vanishingly rare. Too damn rare to be worth chasing down in a fool's errand. Maybe, just maybe, if the Democratic party hadn't spent 30+ years since the Reagan win in 80 chasing the mythical "middle" voter and corporate cash and instead worked to shore up support with the poor and working class in this country we wouldn't be in the mess we're in now. A few unicorns aren't going to fix the problems with the Democratic party but millions of plain Jane and Joe voters could. Suck on that and your pathetic claims of prejudice.

              There are lies, damn lies, and statistics but they all pale in comparison to conservative talking points.

              by ontheleftcoast on Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 11:02:13 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Im clamming nothing (0+ / 0-)

                you did a fine job proving yourself.

                There is nothing middle about it.

                You keep on and on and on showing that for some reason you believe that wealthy people are fundamentally different, and thus have a different set of options than the average American. This prejudice is not productive.

                Many strong wealthy democrats continue to be strong wealthy democrats,


                The only problem is the open demonization of them, can and does serve only to reduce their engagement.

  •  What's really important to the young billionaires? (0+ / 0-)

    And really, how many do we have? More and more money goes to the hands of a very few.

    Expect to see new hipper Republican priorities in 2014, like 'keeping it real,' sustainable cannabis, and buffalo meat at Central Market.

    I see you drivin' 'round town with the girl I love / And I'm like / Please proceed, Governor. - Dave Itzkoff

    by Jensequitur on Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 06:04:11 PM PST

  •  Let them lean on Sheldon in 'Vegas (0+ / 0-)

    He has about a billion to loose, he'll pony up for more looters uh...loosers.  

    ... the watchword of true patriotism: "Our country - when right to be kept right; when wrong to be put right." - Carl Schurz; Oct. 17, 1899

    by NevDem on Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 06:16:21 PM PST

  •  This dynamic will end the Drug War. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I'm serious.  If there is one difference between the dying Gazillionaires of Wall Street and Big Oil and their younger brethren in Silicon Valley and Big Tech is their belief in the futility of the drug war.  Eventually the Republican party will realize that they can either cede all those dollars to a mixture of Democrats and Libertarians, or they can come around on the stupidity of putting people in jail for trying to get high.

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

    by Spider Stumbled on Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 06:24:33 PM PST

  •  The Priorities ads had the benefit (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    of being true, unlike the lies Mendacious Mitt told daily.

  •  Young wealthy donors seem to be libertarian bent.. (0+ / 0-)

    I'd guess that the GOP's far right on social issues scares away the younger big money donor types.  

    Glenn Greenwald promotes far-right fringe extremist group The Oath Keepers -

    by Jacoby Jonze on Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 06:46:44 PM PST

  •  Rove (0+ / 0-)

    I'm sure that Rove's got a wad salted away for a personal rainy day. He might just have to go for some Koch money, that is if he isn't already receiving some through back channels.

    Didn't those billionaires have offspring that they managed to brainwash like old man Koch did?

    Gingrich has a gig on CNN, though it may be tenuous if a management type gets a bug up his backside. Adelson is due to meet the reaper soon. If he can hold out for another year or two Gingrich just might give it one more go to pay the mortgage and pay off wife #3.

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