Politico posted a piece about the profile of small donation contributors--a constituency that both the Romney and Obama campaigns are trying their damnedest to promote. As each camp suspender-snaps its 'grassroots' bonifides with periodic tallies of the money given by the $200-or-less crowd, it's difficult to take seriously as tsunami swells of cash pour into sky-is-the-limit super pacs.
So, Kenneth Vogel's "Election 2012: The myth of the small donor" might lead one to consider the rank influence wealthy interests wield over elections and ultimately over governing or policy decisions. Campaign fund raisers readily admit that it's far more cost effective to corral several dozen wealthy contributors for a multi-million dollar drive than to reach out to tens of thousands of voters for a $25 donation.
This quote from CFI executive director Michael Malbin is the money shot: “All money does for you is allow you to buy the tools to mobilize your supporters." Everyone knows that's not all it buys.
One billion dollars is the figure that gets kicked around a lot as a projection for what this presidential election will cost. One undeniable but rarely noted factor in the cost of electing our leaders: that is the countless droves of disengaged or apathetic voters that campaigns spend cargo ships of cash to reach.