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The Rise of Super-PACs

Super-PACs, independent spending groups that defame GOP candidates with ads funded by wealthy individuals, unions, and corporations, are affecting the outcomes of political campaigns. Wealthy individuals and corporations have the power to shape the course of campaigns by writing checks to these private groups, whose members can broadcast ads that arouse public sentiment against featured, and disparaged, opponents.

The law says that GOP candidates cannot coordinate with the PACs in any way. Candidates supposedly have no say in the content of these ads and the strategies that are employed in them. Yet there are many loopholes in this requirement, such as the discrepancy of whether the candidate can publicly address the PAC (and tell them
what he wants them to do) as an American citizen first, a GOP candidate second.

That the nation’s richest people possess a powerful conduit to exert tremendous influence and control over the outcome of the 2012 elections greatly concerns us. Campaigns embody the nation’s values for fair politics, as well as the integrity of voicing critical needs and concerns of the American people and presenting viable solutions.

PACs alter our own basis of judgment when choosing the best presidential candidate. PACs heavily focus on their opponents’ mistakes and shortcomings in ads, projecting negative tones of the opposition, and turning the GOP campaign into a competition of which PAC has more money to buy more airtime.

We believe that PACs are an attempt by the rich to gain more political power and influence to sway the public’s opinions of the candidates. With power comes responsibility, so the adage goes, and necessitates a scrupulous check on the values and morals of those who assume it.

As a microcosm of the wider, politically conscious world, Deerfield, too, depends on individuals in positions of power to make decisions that reflect our code of values. We hope that all individuals will prioritize the integrity of fair play, freedom of thought, and the best interests of the whole over those of the elite few.

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