October 30, 2012

A week before the 2012 election, super PACs have been confronted by an unregulated, self-perpetuating entity that is dominating television coverage — without media buys. It also embodies something super PACs can only dream of: the potential to suppress voter turnout. Not since the Supreme Court handed down its ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commissionin 2010 has a single unregulated entity held the potential to shape public opinion so significantly. Yet it didn’t target red states or blue states. It targeted the political divide, causing us to set aside our differences. In fact, it has rallied people in the affected communities toward a single issue: disaster relief and recovery.

While I mourn the destruction and loss of life from Hurricane Sandy [“Monster system packs a wallop for millions,” news, Oct. 30], I’m cautiously optimistic that the general public will not mind if a few TV spots don’t reach their target audience because of power outages. And that, ultimately, Sandy will prove no match for the compassion and charity of Americans in a time of crisis. 

Mark M. Spradley, Chevy Chase