Super PACs: Just the Latest Version of an Old Political Money Game

history of political corruption and financial backings
history of political corruption and financial backings

Over the past few weeks, the final four Republican presidential hopefuls have been eclipsed in the political spotlight by an even more powerful group: their financial backers.

Other than a few big spenders such as George Soros and the Brothers Koch, major political donors have flown under the radar for the last few years. However, the tidal wave of money set off by the Supreme Court'sCitizens United decision has pulled the curtain back from the likes of Sheldon Adelson,Foster Friess, Peter Thiel, Bruce Kovner, and other deep-pocketed donors who may well be choosing our next president.

But while pundits and analysts have been focusing on the growth of super PACs -- and the massive power of the mega-rich men who fund them -- many have ignored the fact that our current big business-sponsored election probably isn't the most egregious example of election-buying in American history. In many ways, in fact, this heavy influence of money on politics is actually a return to normalcy.

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Bruce Watson is a senior features writer for DailyFinance. You can reach him by e-mail at bruce.watson@teamaol.com, or follow him on Twitter at@bruce1971.