It's no secret that the rich use their money to influence the ballot, but in this year's election cycle they have a created a new, more insidious way to do it.
They are called super PACs and they are choosing your next President.
Super PACs (political action committees) have drawn attention in recent months because of their outsized influence on the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary.
Case in point: One super PAC that supports former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney called Restore Our Future spent more than $3 million in Iowa attacking former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich with great effect.
The month-long blitz of negative ads played a major role in knocking Gingrich from first to fourth in the polls. As late as Nov. 30, Gingrich lead in Iowa with 31% to Romney's 17% according to a New York Times/CBS poll.
However, when the caucuses were held on Jan. 3, Gingrich limped to the finish line with just 13% of the vote while Romney took 25%.
But the Romney campaign is not the only one benefiting from super PACs. Every major presidential candidate has a super PAC working on their behalf
These organizations can raise and spend unlimited amounts of money, with the only restriction being that the super PAC cannot "coordinate" with the candidate.
In a super PAC, individual donations of $500,000 to a $1 million or more are not uncommon.
"The sky's the limit,"Columbia Law Schoolcampaign-finance expert Richard Briffault told USA Today. "We are back to the pre-Watergate era of unlimited amounts of money."
Although the law does require disclosure of the donors and how much they give, the use of tax-exempt entities has created loopholes that donors can hide behind.
After a brief period when the Internet made it possible for less well-heeled candidates to mount successful grassroots fundraising campaigns by tapping large numbers of small donors, the super PACs have dramatically increased the ability of the wealthy to sway elections.
"It's just proven to be a vehicle for getting around contribution limits," Michael Malbin, a scholar at the Campaign Finance Institute, told The Washington Post. "It's made for people who've already maxed out."
Created by a 2010 Supreme Court decision, Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission, super PACs provide what may be the most devious way yet around 40-year-old campaign finance laws designed to prevent unlimited fundraising.
In fact, the country is worse off because of the ill-conceived precaution that the candidates cannot coordinate with the super PACs.
Instead of preventing bad behavior, the new rule actually enables it.