MICHAEL KIRKLAND, UPI
The 2012 elections are awash in secret money, with donors accountable to no one, while the national media sleeps and few voters seem to care.
If money has an impact in U.S. elections, the race for the White House and other high offices may be determined by faceless donors pulling the strings from the shadows. Not exactly an image promoted by the Founding Fathers.
In January 2010's Citizens United vs. FEC, the U.S. Supreme Court ruling effectively ended the restrictions on political contributions from the general funds of corporations and unions for independent electioneering.
The U.S. appeals court in Washington then used Citizens United to rule in SpeechNow.org vs. FEC that limits on individual contributions to groups making independent expenditures are unconstitutional.
The two rulings established a new order in how outside groups can affect elections, one pretty much without boundaries.