Sen. Jeff Merkley, speaking to reporters Wednesday after his big re-election victory, blamed heavy Democratic losses in U.S. Senate races on the flood of big outside spending on campaigns unleashed by the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision.
"I think we should be deeply troubled by the results of last night, where an agenda by and for billionaires -- campaigns funded by out-of-state billionaires -- had victories across our country," Merkley said in a press conference at the Portland Hilton Hotel.
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Merkley praised himself for criticizing industrialists Charles and David Koch, who established one political group, Freedom Partners, that spent more than $1.5 million in the state attacking Merkley before giving up on the race at the end of September.
"Here in Oregon, I chose to highlight the their involvement directly, punch them in the nose if you will," said Merkley, who handily defeated Republican Monica Wehby in his race.
But that analysis is flawed if one looks at where the outside money was coming from, and who it was going to.
These are the top ten donors of 2014. Notice where the money of the top two went – Democrats and liberals. That sending eclipsed what the other eight gave, and the total GOP donations from the top ten only barely surpassed the spending of big-time liberal donor Tom Steyer. The Left received just under $109,000,000 from these donors, while the Right received roughly $36,568,000 – meaning that the biggest donors favored the Democrat by a ration of 3-to-1. And the Kogh brothers? Well, they came in at numbers 23 and 25 on the list, donating less than an aggregate $5,000,000.
But what about big money from organizations? Surely it favors conservatives and is mostly Koch money, right? Wrong.
Oh – you mean that Koch Industries gave less than $8,000,000? That isn’t 10% of the money given by Steyer and Bloomberg to Democrats.
So would anyone care to explain to me how it is that the Koch Brothers and “out of state billionaires” are the responsible parties for the Democrats losing the Senate – or governorships or House seats or state legislatures, for that matter? After all, the big money favored the Democrats!
V the K over at GayPatriot also makes some observations on this phenomenon.