Voters are so tired of wading through dueling TV commercials about big oil tool Pat Toomey, shady Katie McGinty, bigot Donald Trump, and crooked Hillary Clinton that they can't wait for one of the most expensive elections in U.S. history to end.
People are sick of being jolted by hate-infused ads designed to make them so confused or angry they no longer feel good about the candidate they favored. Think of it as a form of high-priced voter intimidation financed by interests who want to control the national agenda by using incessant advertising to badger voters into accepting their candidates.
What's worse, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, is that 26 percent of the money being spent on federal election campaigns comes from fake charities that aren't required to disclose their donors. That means voters don't know who's trying to trip them up.
In many instances, money is shuffled from fake charities to political action committees in a maddening web of transactions designed to frustrate anyone trying to track the original sources of the cash. No doubt many donors make sure candidates know what they donated and what they expect in return.
The biggest overall campaign donors are in the finance, fossil fuel, and health sectors. They typically represent groups that want regulations and taxes changed to boost profits.
Today's Wild West of campaign finance is traceable to the Supreme Court's insane 2010 Citizens United ruling, which said it was fine for corporations and special interests to dump unlimited buckets of money into political campaigns. Citizens United gave corporations and special interests more rights and powers than individuals. Other decisions have allowed campaign cash sources to be hidden.
Instead of fixing this, the Republican-controlled Congress has blocked even the weakest disclosure bills while underfunding and undercutting the Internal Revenue Service and Federal Election Commission, which is charged with investigating campaign law violations. The IRS doesn't have sufficient staff to investigate fake charities and the FEC, whose members are appointed on a partisan basis, will remain deadlocked so long as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) refuses to hold hearings on new board nominees.
There may be a speck of hope for change. In a meeting Tuesday with the Inquirer and Daily News editorial boards, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) said campaign finance reform will be a high priority for the Democratic caucus. Of course, to be successful that effort must have overwhelmingly bipartisan support.