The high cost of “self-funded” Democrats

An altered image of a 1968 George Wallace campaign rally at Madison Square Gardens, in which Wallace is speaking from a bunting-draped podium with a crowd behind him. Wallace has been replaced with a Gilded Age editorial campaign illustration depicting a portly millionaire with a money-bag for a head, limned by a blue ‘supernova’ effect. Stage left is a Democratic ‘kicking donkey’ image.

It costs a lot to win a US election — even if it’s just a race for (formerly) low-stakes offices that have emerged as culture-war battlegrounds (like school and election boards). In the 12 years since Citizens United, the dark money firehose has turned many races into plute-on-plute economic warfare, where cash from the 1% matters far…

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