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16 May, 2012 15:52

Super PAC $pending

Mo money, mo problems? Not for this year’s presidential candidates, whose campaigns — and issues — were kept alive well past their expiration date by excessive amounts of money, often times funneled in by one person.

For Newt Gingrich, it was billionaire casino mogul Sheldon Adelson; For Jon Huntsman, it was his father, Jon Hunstman, Sr.; For Rick Santorum, it was Foster Friess, who called himself “the underdog billionaire” on Fox News.And it’s not just the red billionaires — there are blue super donors as well. George Soros recently pledged $2 million to Democratic, left-leaning groups, and Dreamworks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg gave $2 million to yhe pro-Obama super PAC, Priorities USA.“People who have lots of financial resources and strong ideologies or strong belief in a particular candidate have decided that they wanted to get involved in the process this way,” said Bob Biersack, a senior fellow with The Center for Responsive PoliticsEven though the money may not be able to buy votes, it can control the message, Biersack said. It’s a reality that seems unfair to many who can’t afford to give, especially since quite often, those who do help often determine whose name is on the ballot.“The range of choices is narrowed significantly because certain kinds of interests have a lot of influence here and that comes in part…and no small part, from the money they’re able to bring into the political process,” Biersack said.Homebuilder Bob Perry recently gave $3 million to Restore Our Future, a Super PAC supporting Mitt Romney. He also helped find the group responsible for the “Swift Boat” ad during the 2004 election. The purpose of it was to discredit Democratic Nominee John Kerry and many political analysts say it did just that.