Citizens United

Oh the Irony! Big Money Anti-Citizens United SuperPAC Demonstrates Frequent Impotence of Big Money in Politics

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Perfectly lovely irony reported in Politico today:

Mayday PAC burst onto the political scene in the spring of 2014 with grandiose designs to elect a pro-campaign finance reform majority to the U.S. Congress by 2016. The 2014 cycle was a test run of sorts — with the group spending more than $10 million on a slate of candidates ostensibly united only in their belief in curbing the influence of big donors, lobbyists and money in the political system.

It was money down the drain.

Senate hopefuls Rick Weiland and Greg Orman and House candidates Paul Clements, Staci Appel and Rep. Carol Shea-Porter — all lost, despite Mayday's much-touted, high-profile investments in those races. The setbacks across the country on Tuesday follow on the heels of a loss in the New Hampshire primary, when Mayday PAC backed a losing GOP challenger to Scott Brown. In the only race where Mayday PAC backed a winner — supporting Republican Rep. Walter Jones' in North Carolina — it was hard-pressed to claim credit, since Jones' reelection to a safe GOP seat was all-but assured without outside help….

[Harvard Professor Larry] Lessig [figurehead of the PAC] did not respond to multiple phone calls from POLITICO in the aftermath of Tuesday's election. That's a marked change from earlier, when he and his allies assiduously courted media coverage – to great effect.

A PR firm representing Lessig declined requests to make him available and sent this statement from him: "It was a tough night across the board for supporters of reform, but we're glad we engaged in this fight. We feel confident that we made progress and we're collecting and examining data over the next couple of days that can illustrate the impact that Mayday achieved in our races. The fight to root out corruption in our politics is one of the most important in our time and we will continue to pursue it with fierce urgency."

Free political expression defenders, you can never rest—Lessig and his ilk will always be out there ready to beat you. 

Reason on Citizens United and money in politics.

UPDATE: As per the comment thread, of course, in only two of the races Politico lists (Appel and Shea-Porter) did the candidate Lessig's folk supported outspend their opponent, so those on the anti-free-speech side could fairly just say, hey, we don't only need to spend $10 million to shut up our adversaries--we need to spend more than the more pro-free-speech candidate. And perhaps next time they will try to.