It is going to be a bitter, nasty presidential election. This weekend a secretive 3-day long fundraising conference hosted by the Koch brothers netted $100 million in pledges to fund efforts to defeat Obama in the 2012 election. Most of this money will be funneled through super PACs to get around campaign financing restrictions, something that wasn’t possible in 2008.
The GOP primary is just a preview of how this money will be used, with record amounts of money being spent on unprecedented numbers of negative personal attack ads. During the South Carolina primary, some television stations even ran out of air time in which to run these ads.
Unfortunately, negative ads are very effective, and it doesn’t even matter if their accusations are even remotely true. Jerry Della Femina — the famous ad agency executive who was part of the team that created the campaign to elect Ronald Reagan in 1984, and the inspiration for the TV series “Mad Men” — says “Sad to say, negative advertising really works.”
It is no secret that the oil billionaire Koch (pronounced “coke”) brothers are driving an anti-Obama hate machine. According to Charles Koch, it is imperative that conservative CEOs join together “to combat what is now the greatest threat to American freedom and prosperity in our lifetimes” — the administration of Barack Obama.
The Koch brothers were also major sources of funding for the Tea Party, and efforts to discredit man-made climate change. They have been holding these fundraising events for nine years. According to one person who attended last weekend’s conference, these events used to be about formulating strategy and building a conservative movement, but now they are primarily an “alpha male” spectacle centered on just raising lots and lots of money; money that will be used to attack Obama.