THE American presidential election, which is four days away, will cost $6billion or N936 billion, unarguably the most expensive in United States history, according to NDTV, a newswire service in that country.
Of this amount, President Barack Obama and challenger Mitt Romney’s campaigns are spending about $2.6 billion or N390 billion .
A facts sheet sourced by NDTV also reported that the figure for the 2012 election tops the record set in 2008, when Obama was first elected by $700 million or N105 billion.
The disclosure stems from a new analysis by Washington based research group Centre for Responsive Politics (CRP)that tracks the effects of money and lobbying on elections and public policy.
According to the report, accelerated spending by ostensibly independent outside groups in the final weeks of the 2012 campaign is pushing the cost up , Mr Romney being the main beneficiary with more than three-quarters of the money being spent on his behalf.
The major force behind the increased spending are hundreds of “super PACs”, a new kind of political action committees that came into being after a federal court ruling in July 2010 lifted the ban on corporate political activity and permitted wealthy donors to pool unlimited sums of money for election spending.
In all, CRP estimates that expenditures by outside groups will reach more than $970 million in this election, more than three times the previous record of $301 million in 2008.
The total is said not to include tens of millions of dollars spent by tax-exempt advocacy groups on issue advertisements and other forms of voter outreach that do not have to be reported to the Federal Election Commission.
What remains unknown-and may never fully be accounted for , is how much money secretive “shadow money” organisations spent, CRP said.
“One thing we can say for certain is that the transparency the Supreme Court relied upon to justify this new framework has been sorely lacking,” CRP Executive Director Sheila Krumholz maintained
As the final hours creep near, a controversial Virginia marketing and polling firm appears to have used a legal loophole to bombard scores of Americans with unsolicited text messages berating President Barack Obama
and Democrats on a variety of issues such as abortion, foreign policy, same-sex marriage and taxation.
The domain names of those websites had been registered with GoDaddy.com through a firm that masks original owners.
On Wednesday, Reuters compiled a list of at least nine websites gathered from reporters who received the political text messages. A review of websites that track domain name registrations revealed that three of the nine websites that sent the messages were registered by Jason Flanary who works for ccAdvertising, a division of FreeEats.com Inc. Neither Flanary or the firm returned requests for comment.
CcAdvertising’s website says: “All ccAdvertising services are compliant with all Do Not Call regulations and exceptions.”
Based in Centreville, Virginia, ccAdvertising is a firm that has represented Republican candidates. It has been fined, sued and pursued for aggressive political pushes that state authorities and private parties have argued violate laws against robo-calls and other types of automated phone contact.