Though I agree with DougJ that conservatives are allergic to facts, they do love anecdotes. Nothing disproves years of global warming research like a cold day in July, and food stamps are a waste of money because some guy somewhere traded them for a flat-screen TV. As soon as a conservative pundit has found one counterexample, he’s done all the research he’ll ever need.
So it’s no surprise that Reason came up with a new anecdote that will show that the Citizens United decision is irrelevant :
Will anybody point to the failure of eMeg’s record-busting campaign splurge and revisit their commitment to getting private money out of politics?
With a helping hand from Sully, this piece of “evidence” from the Whitman campaign will live on at the Daily Caller, Fox News and Red State long after Meg Whitman is crushed by Jerry Brown. The only problem is that the Brown/Whitman race isn’t the kind of race where Citizens United will make an impact.
Whitman is outspending Brown 6-1 in the race, but Brown has the advantage of already being well-known, and Brown has enough money to launch a significant media campaign of his own. It costs $3 million per week to do a full-state media campaign, and Brown has sufficient cash to do that in the closing weeks of the race.
The kind of race where corporate spending makes a big difference is one where the candidates don’t have enough money to launch a credible media campaign, and those races are generally for House seats. After the shit-ton of cash that was spent in California, voters know enough about Meg Whitman and Jerry Brown to form an independent opinion about the candidates. In a typical gerrymandered Congressional district, a surprising number of voters don’t even know the name of their Representative. In those races, a million bucks of corporate cash can dwarf the expenditures of either candidate, and it can make a hell of an impact in the race.
I’m sure some think tank will make a careful study of House races and show the impact of the Citizens United decision. Luckily, thanks to Reason, conservatives have already completed their study. Like all their other studies, it has a sample size of one, but it still manages to be authoritative.