On her show Thursday night, Rachel Maddow lamented the avalanche of money that has poured into the 2016 presidential campaign. And now, the candidates aren’t even bothering to keep their distance from massively powerful super PACs.
“It’s not just that candidates are raising unprecedented amounts of money for these super PACs. It’s that candidates are also pushing the bounds of how they’re going to use these super PACs as arms of their campaigns,” Maddow said.
Maddow pointed out that Jeb Bush’s super PAC has taken over many of the traditional functions of a campaign -- among them, direct mail, advertising, data-gathering and phone-banking. And she didn’t spare Hillary Clinton, who is also cozying up to her super PAC by courting donors.
“The deal with super PACs is that, sure they can raise all the money they want in unlimited amounts; they can spend as much as they want -- no limits; many of their donors remain secret and anonymous," she said. "But they are not supposed to be coordinating with the candidates and the actual campaigns."
“All of the previous constraints on what you can do -- strategic ways you might push somebody else out of the race … that stuff is drifting away,” she added.
And the worst part is that the gridlocked Federal Election Commission can’t do anything about it.
“The likelihood of the laws being enforced is slim,” FEC chair Ann M. Ravel told The New York Times earlier this week.