One of the key reasons that the American political system is so corrupt is because it is so expensive to run election campaigns. And one of the key reasons that campaigns are so costly is because political advertising on television is so expensive.
How bad is it? The latest word is about $3 billion. Local TV stations alone are expected to reap between $2.5 billion and $3.3 billion in political advertising in 2012, according to Ken Goldstein, who tracks political spending for Kantar Media CMAG. This represents about half of all the money that candidates and interest groups are likely to raise in the election cycle. All told, local TV stations are expected to siphon up between 42 and 48 percent of all the campaign monies raised.