fresh voices from the front lines of change







This story about the potential merging of the Republican Super PACs is downright chilling:

Restore Our Future, the “super PAC” whose millions of dollars in negative advertising helped bury Mr. Romney’s Republican rivals, will also shift its focus to the general election, officials familiar with its plans said. The group, which raised more than $43 million through the end of February, is hoping to reach the $100 million mark by the end of the cycle.

The super PAC will also have help from Mr. Romney’s allies and backers: Jim Talent, the former United States senator and a key surrogate for Mr. Romney during the primaries, appeared at a Restore Our Future briefing for donors in New York on Wednesday.

And people involved with the group’s fund-raising have in recent days approached Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire casino owner whose family contributed over $16 million to a rival super PAC supporting Newt Gingrich, to consider contributing to Restore Our Future. They have also approached Charles and David Koch, the wealthy conservative businessmen who founded Americans for Prosperity, a conservative advocacy group, according to two people with knowledge of the conversations.

Restore Our Future’s political director, Carl Forti, is also an official with American Crossroads, a pro-Republican super PAC that is planning to raise as much as $300 million to spend on the 2012 elections. Federal rules permit the two super PACs to coordinate directly with each other on raising and spending money, and Mr. Romney’s allies expect that Crossroads and other outside groups, like Americans for Prosperity, will spend up to $100 million against Mr. Obama.

Ed Kilgore quips:

I don’t know if these worthies will ever get together in a single place at a single time to discuss their common work, but if they did, it would probably feel like one of those legendary Cosa Nostra summits. We may never again see the likes of this particular combination of avarice, talent, malevolent focus and permissive laws.

I think these are all smart people with so much money that these amounts aren’t really that significant. I also think they know that Romney is a deeply flawed candidate who is unlikely to win and that Obama is not really a socialist usurper who is dedicated to destroying capitalism. So Kilgore may be on to something. It may very well be nothing more than a fancy extortion racket. I think it’s entirely possible that these fabulously wealthy billionaires are making sure the political establishment remembers who’s in charge: “Nice little political system you have here, be a shame if anything happened to it.”

Remember, the whole point of Super PACs is the threat that they will come after people who don’t toe the line. That sounds like mob behavior to me.

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