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Opinion » Letters to the Editor

$15 Million

Mitt Romney spends 15 million for the Republican primary.

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That's how much Mitt Romney's inanely titled Super PAC, "Restore Our Future," spent to woo Floridians in the run-up to Tuesday's Republican primary. The massive outpouring of cash is just the latest over-the-top display of campaign spending in an election year that is expected to break all records, thanks in large part to the Supreme Court's Citizen's United decision. That watershed ruling opened the floodgates for so-called "soft money," i.e. corporate dollars that are funneled through political action committees like "Restore."

While free-wheeeling spending is nothing new, the amount of money that people and corporations fork out in an election year has been ballooning over the past decade, even as lawmakers tried to rein in the money machine. In 2008, the Obama campaign raised more than $700 million, double what the Bush campaign raised in 2004 to defeat John Kerry.

Pundits expect that the Obama campaign could eclipse $1 billion this year. That's a far cry from the $35 million that it took Jimmy Carter to get elected in 1976, or the $50 million that it took Reagan four years later. Wondering where all that money went in Florida? You guessed it, TV and radio attack ads. Brace for it, America, because here it comes.

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