WTVY  | Dothan, AL  | Politics, News

Presidential Campaign on Track to Be Costliest in U.S. History

It's the price we pay for living in swing-state Florida. Every four years, our t.v. sets become the loudest mouthpiece on the road to the White House. But if 2012 feels different, it should.

"Barack Obama's got lots of excuses for the bad economy - headwinds coming from Europe; we've had a string of bad luck."

The republican-leaning group 'Crossroads GPS' is pouring $25 million into running this ad in Florida and a handful of other battleground states. It's a massive amount of money even the presidential campaigns have yet to match, and we have no idea where it's coming from.

Like almost everything else in the world of campaigning, political ads are all about the money trail. Generally, you know exactly who's paying for them and why, but the new ads are different.

They're multi-million dollar political attacks funded by people and businesses that may have more incentive to give because they're anonymous.

Crossroads is one a handful of so-called 'social welfare' political committees that don't have to report their donors. As a result, major companies can privately pick sides in the presidential contest without having to worry about the fallout if the other guy wins.

Democrats complain the committees can't run attack ads, and that's why they're filing suit to pull them off the air.

"The democrats would be doing exactly the same thing if they had the money."

Political strategist Gary Yordon says there's no question the social welfare committees are giving republicans and their deep-pocketed donors the advantage, and he predicts going to court won't change anything for the democrats.

"Sometime in 2013 a judge is going to tell them that, 'you had a really good argument and they shouldn't have done that', and then, they'll be able to go knock on the doors of elected republicans who benefited from it and say, 'see, you shouldn't have done that'. No, it's going to happen," Yordon said.

Which means democrats may have no choice but to form their own social welfare committees, funded by their own anonymous donations. It's a step they're beginning to take, but if you believe one of their first ads, they don't like doing it.

"We know the ads blaming President Obama for the economy are politics at its worst."

But in politics as in war, apparently, all is fair.

The lawsuit to pull the social welfare ads attacking President Obama off the air is being filed by the democratic party's U.S. Senate Election Committee. Two of the president's former aides are heading up a democratic-leaning social welfare group called 'Priorities USA Action'.


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