Saul Anuzis, who chaired the Wolverine State GOP from 2005 to 2009, told ThinkProgress yesterday at CPAC that the rise of super PACs and the Citizens United Supreme Court case, which legalized unlimited corporate money in American elections, would “absolutely” help defeat President Obama in the fall. “There’s no doubt about it,” said Anuzis.
KEYES: Citizens United and the rise of super PACs, do you think that’s going to help defeat President Obama in the fall?
ANUZIS: Absolutely, there’s no doubt about it. Without those financial resources to compete against an incumbent president who has all the resources to raise money, you could never win.
Anuzis’s prediction about the power of Citizens United and super PACs may prove prophetic. Already this election cycle, super PAC spending on behalf of Republicans has lapped that of Democrats’ by 7.5-to-1:
Many of these Republican super PACs are almost entirely bankrolled by a single billionaire, as is the case with Sheldon Adelson and the pro-Gingrich super PAC Winning Our Future. Adelson contributed $11 million in the month of January alone.
Super PACs have also turned into an outlet for wealthy donors to evade contribution limits. In fact, a ThinkProgress investigation found that of the 147 individuals who had donated to the pro-Romney super PAC Restore Our Future, “more than 85 percent of them also contributed the legal maximum to Romney’s presidential campaign committee.” Their contributions are joined by $1.2 million in contributions and counting from big oil, coal and gas companies.
This year will be the first presidential election in a post-Citizens United world. Though President Obama recently announced that he would not “unilaterally disarm” — he remains opposed to the Citizens United ruling — Democrats already have an uphill battle if they want to stave off a looming death-by-super-PAC.