Lugar unloads on out-of-state PACs


Political AdvertisingSen. Richard Lugar (R-IN) has been ousted by Republican voters in his state in favor of Richard Mourdock, a Tea Party backed candidate. He was not happy about being a target of national PACs including Club for Growth and FreedomWorks.

Lugar, who was seeking a seventh term in the US Senate, said that he was not happy with the direction of his own Party. He noted that he and Mourdock were in agreement on many issues. Where they differ was approach.

Lugar said he seeks to get results that benefit the citizens of Indiana. He said he hopes Mourdock strives to do the same, but suspects his stated intention of steadfastly opposing any cooperation with Democrats is not likely to succeed.

He said he was aware he was a target of elements of his own party, and cited the influence of PACs in causing his defeat. “But I knew that I would face an extremely strong anti-incumbent mood following a recession. I knew that my work with then-Senator Barack Obama would be used against me, even if our relationship were overhyped. I also knew from the races in 2010 that I was a likely target of Club for Growth, FreedomWorks and other Super Pacs dedicated to defeating at least one Republican as a purification exercise to enhance their influence over other Republican legislators.”

RBR-TVBR observation: When SCOTUS released its Citizens United ruling, it was pretty much Democrats alone that sought legislative band-aids to blunt its effect. We wonder if that will change.

The fact is that candidates are still bound by restrictions on donations that no longer affect certain kinds of PACs. And it has come to pass that Republicans have been vulnerable to sudden influxes of out-of-state cash to which they generally have no financial answer. While spending more on advertising doesn’t guarantee an electoral victory, it sure doesn’t hurt, either.

With members of both parties in danger in the aftermath of the Citizens United ruling, it may come to pass that members of both parties find common ground to find a way to create legislative workarounds.