In Political Campaigns, Do You Get What You Pay For?

Mark Hanna, the Republican Party political boss, famously declared at the outset of the McKinley-Bryan campaign of 1896: “There are two things that are important in politics. The first is money, and I can’t remember the second.”

In the wake of the 2002 McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform act and the 2010 Supreme Court decision in Citizens United, things are far more complicated than they were in Hanna’s day: now, curiously, some dollars are worth more than others, and the way money gets spent is more important than the amount. [cont.]

Tom Edsall (Columbia U.), New York Times