By: Russ Friend
Nation, South Carolinians are speaking loud and clear.
Granted, it’s in a slow southern drawl, a drawl that is only slightly faster than our University’s response to the shocking crime wave terrifying our campus that recently began a short 24 months ago.
South Carolinians have grown tired of the two-bit hustlers who are parading around as real candidates. From Newt Gingrich’s vaunted “family values,” a topic he knows as well as he knows his third wife, to Rick “Don’t Google Me” Santorum’s love of good, clean, frothy fun, the citizens of South Carolina realize that the corporate foxes have cleaned out the GOP’s political henhouse. The only things left are a few rotten eggs.
One of these rotten eggs will become the next Republican candidate for President of the United States. These political puppets are mocking our electoral process. The sole exception is Ron Paul. Since the GOP is doing its best to ignore his laudable positions on fiscal policy, the role of government and international policy — things it obviously doesn’t understand — I see no reason to mention him here. The citizens of South Carolina realize they need a hero, and they’ve found him. His name is Stephen Colbert.
Stephen Colbert is on a quest to expose the problems of soft money. Specifically, it is the problem with super PACs, or Political Action Committees. These super PACs have corrupted the political process by allowing unlimited donations, enabling a candidate to essentially buy an election. A candidate like Buddy Roemer, who won’t accept donations over $100, has no chance when facing a candidate with unlimited resources, even though his platform and integrity are exceptional.
The most glaring example of this corruption is the GOP’s frontrunner of the week, Mitt Romney. Romney’s largest financial supporter is the super PAC “Restore Our Future.” This super PAC was formed by his aides. The PAC’s treasurer, Charles Spies, was Romney’s general counsel during his 2008 presidential campaign.
In the New Hampshire debates, Gingrich confronted Romney about the attack ads the Restore Our Future super PAC ran. Romney stated that he had no knowledge of these ads, only to remember explicit details 12 seconds later, details he spoke about at length. He didn’t even attempt to hide the collusion.
Super PACs are not bound by campaign donation limits. During the first half of 2011, Romney’s super PAC raised around $12 million dollars from approximately 90 wealthy individuals and corporations, which puts the average donation at more than $133,000. However, Romney’s not alone. The majority of super PACs are run by the candidates’ former aides and confidantes. It is their way around campaign finance law.
After Stephen Colbert received five percent of the votes during a recent poll in South Carolina, he decided to throw his hat into the ring. His super PAC “Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow” was legally transferred to his good friend, Jon Stewart. To further highlight the problem with super PACs, they renamed Colbert’s super PAC “The Definitely Not Coordinated with Stephen Colbert Super PAC.” The staff that worked for Colbert’s PAC now works for Stewart. It is truly art imitating life.
Until sensible reform is realized, America’s political future is in doubt. While it makes for great comedy, it is a tragedy of epic proportions.