In a few more days, those annoying political attack ads blessedly will end, but the concerns they raise about campaign financing will remain.
The millions of dollars spent on individual races by third-party groups on behalf of candidates is disconcerting, but a much more glaring concern is the lack of transparency about who's contributing and how those anonymous donations might influence public policy.
According to the Sunlight Foundation, through Nov. 1 $213 million had been spent on races nationwide by "dark money" groups -- groups that are not required by law to identify their donors -- to try to influence elections and no doubt the elected. Republicans benefit the most from these dark money groups; they have received 81 percent of that $213 million.
The problem is evident in Southwestern Illinois. A lot of money has come from outsiders for both the Democratic and Republican candidates. In the 12th Congressional District Republican Jason Plummer has received $2.14 million in contributions from dark-money groups, according to the Sunlight Foundation. Democrat Bill Enyart hasn't received any. In the 13th Congressional District race, Republican Rodney Davis has received $2.04 million in dark money; Democrat David Gill has received $4,764.
Money talks in our political system, and it's only fair that voters know who's behind all the money in future elections.