Last week I learned a bit about super Pacs. As Steve Colbert demonstrated, they are easy to start. And there are hundreds of these organizations which are political committees that are formed to spend money in support or opposition of candidates (or ballot measures? I need to check that out) without coordinating with an official campaign committee.
They span the alphanumeric spectrum from 1911 United — which is a pro-Obama super PAC to Zombies of Tomorrow, a light-hearted effort by a Florida guy named Mel Patel to get young people to register to vote and become “undead” in the political system.
Today, I’m looking at the impact of super PAC money on California Congressional elections. Our state’s Congress races brought in more super PAC spending than any other state — about $4.5 million. Two races, one in the Inland Empire and another out in Ventura County consumed about half the California super PAC money.
If you’re involved in a campaign that is or was touched by the impact of super PAC money, you can tell me by being a source in the Public Insight Network.
I’ve been doing Public Insight Journalism at KPCC Southern California Public Radio for the past three years, but next month, I move to a new beat here. I’ll be doing political and governance reporting on issues that matter to Southern Californians.
The topic areas are pretty open and undefined right now, but is sure to include a hard look at how governments are spending your tax money, at how politicians are raising and spending citizen and corporate money, and how well they are governing.
I’ll be on the radio, writing for kpcc.org and blogging on our new political/governance blog, which desperately needs a name.
Got one? Tell me here:
Meanwhile, this was my contribution to the national journalistic pile-on last Saturday when Gov. Mitt Romney named Rep. Paul Ryan to be his vice presidential running mate. Quite simply, I went to look at Paul Ryan’s Twitter feed, realized he (or his Twitter proxy — I couldn’t quite nail down who actually tweets for Ryan) follows just one Twitter account, @nationaldebt. I pulled the string and it led to a very interesting billionaire, Peter G. Peterson, and the former head of one of my favorite federal agencies, the Government Accountability Office.