William Katz:  Urgent Agenda

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QUOTE OF THE DAY – AT 11:42 A.M. ET:  We keep stressing that more and more information is coming out about what actually happened on election day, and that this – not immediate pundit yapping – should shape our views about our political future.

For example, is money evil in politics?  The way the Dems talk, you'd think it was the greatest evil of them all, and that Republicans benefit from the sin.  But George Will cites some facts that will lead to a more sober assessment:

As the stakes of politics increase with government’s size, so does voter engagement. And 2012 redundantly proved what 2010 demonstrated. The 2010 elections, the first after the Supreme Court’s excellent Citizens United decision liberalized the rules about funding political advocacy, were especially competitive. Social science confirms what common sense suggests: More spending on political advocacy means more voter information and interest. The approximately $2 billion spent in support of this year’s presidential candidates — only about two-thirds as much as Procter & Gamble spent on U.S. advertising last year — surely contributed to the high turnout in targeted states.

Media and other “nonpartisan” — please, no chortling — dismay about “too much money in politics” waned as seven of the 10 highest-spending political entities supported Democrats and outspent the three supporting Republicans, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The advocacy infrastructure being developed by both sides in the post-Citizens United world will, over time, favor the most plausible side, which conservatives know is theirs.

COMMENT:  Let the fundraising begin.  Democracy is expensive, but consider the alternative.  The 2014 election cycle has already begun.  The 2016 presidential sweepstakes will begin in earnest in about two years. 

November 10, 2012