George Will And Chris Wallace Downplay Role Of Dark Money In FL-13


It didn't take long to figure out what the latest set of Republican talking points that were going to be repeated ad nauseum on all of the Sunday shows were this week. If you watched any of these bobble head shows, you heard them from every single one of the hosts and pundits this week.

Everything is horrible for Democrats in the upcoming midterm elections. No matter how badly Republicans have been behaving and how low their approval ratings are, this is going to be another "wave election" for them just like 2010. President Obama and "Obamacare" are poison for Democrats -- and it's fruitless for the Democrats to point out that the Koch brothers and other outside groups are spending millions in dark money in order to swing elections.

During a panel discussion on the upcoming midterms on Fox News Sunday, columnist and Fox regular George Will and host Chris Wallace did just that when they pointed to a recent article in The New York Times, which claimed the Koch brothers did not spend any money in the recent special election for Florida's 13th congressional district.

WALLACE: White House Spokesman Jay Carney putting the best face on that Democratic defeat in this week's special congressional election in Florida, while House Speaker Boehner replied the proverbial lipstick to a pig. And we're back now with the panel. Well, in Florida's 13th congressional district on Tuesday Republican David Jolly beat Democrat Alex Sink. There have been plenty of times when a special election has gone one way and then in November the midterms go the other way. So, George, how much should we make of this vote?

WILL: Well, I think you can tell what the democrats really think about this by the fact that their response was, we have to market ObamaCare better. Now, this, facing the magic of marketing is rather touching. But in the late '50s the Ford motor company put its considerable marketing experience behind the Edsel and it was still an Edsel. People didn't want it. So, I think the Democrats have actually said that this is their problem. The Democrats have also been stressing the Koch Brothers as the sort of deus ex machina explanation of everything. The New York Times reports ...

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WALLACE: Charles and David Koch, the multibillionaires who have been pouring a lot of money into conservative races.

WILL: Yes. Yes. And The New York Times reports this morning that the number of dollars that they spent in Florida '13 was zero.

WALLACE: So much for that?

Koch brothers or no Koch brothers, outside money was a factor in the race to the tune of nearly $5 million for Jolly. Karl Rove's American Crossroads was one of the outside groups pouring money into that race, but of course that wasn't mentioned when Wallace asked Rove to join in on the rest of the discussion on the midterm elections.

Here's more on the spending from Rove's group and others: Outside groups help boost David Jolly to victory:

Republican David Jolly tonight narrowly won Florida’s contentious 13th Congressional District election that attracted an astonishing $12.7 million as national partisans fought for bragging rights heading into November’s midterm election.

Outside groups spent nearly $5 million on Jolly's behalf, according to the Center for Public Integrity’s analysis of FEC records, including the National Republican Congressional Committee ($2.2 million), the U.S. Chamber of Commerce ($1.2 million), the American Action Network ($470,000) and American Crossroads ($470,000).

Outside allies — including the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and House Majority PAC — also sprung to vanquished Democrat Alex Sink’s defense, but their combined $3.7 million advertising blitz could not help lift her over the finish line.

In all, Sink and Jolly controlled less than one-third of the $12.7 million that was pumped into the race.

Of the candidates' share, Jolly’s campaign was dramatically outraised by Sink's — $1.3 million versus $2.7 million — according to a Center for Public Integrity review of Federal Election Commission reports.

Outside political groups spending more money than candidates during an election used to be exceedingly rare.

It's now becoming increasingly common during the big-money era following the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision in January 2010.


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