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Charles Spies has seen the future of American elections, and it is drenched with super-PAC cash—much of it aimed at getting single politicians elected.
That’s what Spies told me recently when I asked him to peer into his crystal ball and venture a prediction about the future of big-money politics in America. Spies (rhymes with “cheese”) is a well-connected Republican lawyer and former top adviser to Mitt Romney’s 2008 campaign. For the last election cycle, however, Spies choose to support Romney’s presidential bid in a new way: He started a super-PAC.
Restore Our Future, the super-PAC Spies launched with two other Romney ’08 alums, strategist Carl Forti and ad man Larry McCarthy, spent $161 million—the most of any super-PAC—to help elect Romney president, mostly by blasting President Obama with negative ads. Spies’ candidate, of course, lost, but his experience running Restore Our Future taught him a thing or two about the strange, rapidly changing new world of super-PACs.
Super-PACs may have spent $635 million during the 2012 elections, but that’s chump change compared to what they’ll likely unload in the next presidential election. (Only 45 months away!) Ditto for the 2014 midterm elections compared to the 2010 midterms. Spies predicts at least 250 new super-PACs will spend serious money on races up and down the ballot in 2014. And he says voters should expect a lot of them to be devoted to promoting the fortune of a single House or Senate candidate, big-money bazookas firing away to nudge their preferred politician that much closer to Washington.