"Buying A Voice": Third party groups and the U.S. Senate race

RICHMOND (WWBT) - There may not be a race in America that will have more money flowing into it, then the race for U.S. Senate from Virginia. Much of that money will flow from political advocacy groups that aren't required to publicly reveal their donors.

In their recent debate we asked both of the leading candidates to request these third party groups to stay out of the U.S. Senate race.

Neither took us up on our offer.

Both republican George Allen and democrat Tim Kaine believe there is something wrong with the big donors being able to fund damaging political ads and do so without the public knowing who they are.

"The federal laws are very complicated and convoluted and there are restrictions," said Allen.

Kaine added, "I think it is a disaster to let corporation spend corporate money in the way that they are spending it now."

The two depart when it comes to the principle behind the Supreme Court's "Citizens United" decision.

Allen argues it is a defense of freedom of speech.

"I don't want to say in the midst of a political campaign that any American should not be able to express their views," he said.

Kaine called the ruling a travesty.

"It's opened up groups to pour in secret money and if you can hide your identity, you just might give more," he said.

But while both found their flaws with the "Citizens United" case, neither was willing to independently remove themselves from these third party groups that could help, or hurt their respective campaigns.

"If George and I could reach an agreement and we could get everyone to stay out of the race, other than George Allen and me, I would agree to it tomorrow," said Kaine

Allen wouldn't make the deal.

"There is a reason why those organizations are allowed to keep the confidentially of their donors," he said.

If you'd like to see the entire response from both Kaine and Allen on this topic from the debate on DecisionVirginia.com.

Copyright 2011 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.