The obligatory “Oh, my God, look how much the election cost!” story:

Happens every time:

The 2010 campaign was by far the most expensive midterm election in history. While we won’t have the final numbers until January, spending estimates last month put the price tag at roughly $4 billion.

That’s $12.90 per U.S. resident. Not counting illegal immigrants, I don’t think.

Of that total, at least $293 million was spent by outside groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, AFSCME (the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees) and conservative groups (dubbed by some the “shadow GOP”) like the American Crossroads operation headed up by former Bush White House adviser Karl Rove. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, that’s the most ever spent on a midterm election and less than $10 million shy of what was spent during the ’08 presidential election.

We’ll skip over that “shadow GOP” quip (what’s MoveOn.org, then?) and simply note: $293 million is about 94 cents per U.S. resident, and only 7.3% of the total $4 billion spent.

Who ran the most expensive campaign in the country? That would be former eBay chief Meg Whitman, who spent more than $160 million on her failed bid to win California’s governor’s race. Of that total, $141.5 million as Whitman’s own cash, beating New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s previous self-funding record of $110 million.

And:

In the Senate, former World Wrestling Entertainment CEO Linda McMahon spent nearly $47 million of her own cash on her losing bid for Connecticut’s Senate seat.

So much for “buying the election.”

Am I saying money doesn’t matter? Of course not. Money matters, and sure, it’s troubling. It’s impossible to believe that big-money interests don’t hold greater influence over our political system, simply because they are big-money and can spend more than the rest of us.

Want to change that? Take power away from the politicians. The less power they have, the less incentive outside groups have to spend money influencing them. Ironic, that the political side that wants a more powerful political class is also the side most terrified of campaign spending.

One more little tidbit:

There are just 732 days until Election Day 2012.

So sleep fast, people.

Posted by The TrogloPundit.

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