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Stemming the tide of muck

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By Sherry Robinson

Two years ago, in its Citizens United decision, the Supreme Court opened the floodgate for corporations, unions and other groups to spend as much as they want on “electioneering communications,” provided they’re independent of candidates.
That begat the super PAC, which can raise and spend a vault of money, provided it’s “independent.”
Left-leaning columnist E. J. Dionne saw the decision as part of “a larger initiative by moneyed conservatives to rig the electoral system against their opponents,” and most expected those opponents to be Democrats.
What few anticipated was for the parties to use the new weapon against their own. If you were a Newt Gingrich supporter, you watched your man fall in a hail of Mitt Romney-aligned, super PAC ads.
More recently, the union-funded Independent Source PAC attacked the campaign manager of Cara Valente-Compton, who is running against Rep. Sheryl Williams Stapleton, D-Albuquerque. It said he was a Republican operative.
Interesting choice of words. Republicans have maligned opponents (as Steve Pearce did Heather Wilson) by calling them liberals; now Democrats besmirch the competition by calling them Republicans.


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