Buddy Roemer has suffered some setbacks of late in his long-shot bid to earn the GOP nomination through honesty and a principled stand against the pernicious influence of corporate money in our politics. Last week, Roemer found out that his name will not appear on the ballots in Florida and South Carolina. In the latter state, Roemer's own principles (he's not taking any donations over $100) worked against him, as the $35,000 filing fee to get on the ballot "would have nearly depleted Roemer's campaign treasury."
But Roemer's hopes to raise awareness of the dysfunctional way money undermines the democratic process has gotten a boost from comedian Stephen Colbert, who involved Roemer in his latest advertisement, satirizing the rise of super PACs. In the spot, Roemer notes that the rules governing super PACs forbid the PAC from "coordinating" with candidates, unless the coordination of the candidate is over an "issue" -- in this case, the issue being how much Buddy Roemer hates super PACs.
Colbert, with the help of his constant, Super PAC-critical companion, Trevor Potter, explains the latest ways these organizations have managed to not-coordinate while coordinating with lawmakers, as long as everyone agrees to take millions of dollars to pretend to care about an "issue." If the end result is that a candidate -- say, Rick Perry or Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) -- looks great, well that's just a side benefit of this sort of coordination without "coordinating."
Of course, all these Super PACs are doing is promoting "free speech." The best "free speech" money can buy! (You probably cannot afford this "free speech.")
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