Editor's note: This is the fourth in a series of six Alaska Robotics News multimedia commentaries leading up to the 2014 general election. Look online for new videos each Monday and Thursday.Political advertisements are weird. We're being sold ideas and people like they're the latest in laundry detergent. This is a metaphor which works particularly well for the House race. Don Young is your parent's trusty box of Borax, and Forrest Dunbar is the latest in liquid detergents. Whether you prefer a crusty white powder or an experimental blue gel, it's not hard to see that the real problem isn't with the cleaning agent, we need new fabric.I have friends who don't vote because they feel like it's a losing proposition, that they're playing a rigged game and that they would rather not participate. I can empathize with that sentiment, especially when I look at how much money is wrapped up in these elections. If money is speech, Alaska voters aren't going to be heard over the din.It's hard to keep up with the numbers; things are moving quickly. Last I checked, the Senate race had brought in $16 million to the candidates and $33 million dollars from third parties. It's actuality far more than that but the Federal Elections Commission hasn't updated its numbers since the end of September despite a recent reporting deadline. I'm told this has to do with an archaic system and candidates deliberately dragging their feet by submitting paperwork that has to be transcribed.Digging into the data is educational. You can find it yourself through the FEC's online portal or websites like Opensecrets.org which try to make the federal data a little more attractive and easier to parse.The dusty, weeks-old data I pulled down from Alaska's Senate candidates revealed that Dan Sullivan received donations from 461 individual Alaskans at an average of $979.65 and Mark Begich received donations from 2,889 individual Alaskans at an average of $322.78. It's important to note that my numbers might not match those provided by the campaigns themselves because I adjusted for individuals who donated more than once, and each candidate also has several small donations that are not itemized.If you generously assume that all the un-itemized campaign contributions are from Alaska voters, then we're still left with just about $2 million coming from me and you. Not that I donated, maybe it's from you? Anyway, that's only 4 percent of the money in play and, in very real terms, it means our senator is probably not working for us.So who are candidates working for? That's where “dark money” comes into play. There's just a whole lot of money out there that doesn't have a name on it. The total amount in Alaska's U.S. Senate race from organizations that don't disclose donors or only partially disclose them is now over $14 million. That's almost a third of the total contributions.I guess I just need to tell our senator that all those anonymous donations came from me, and that I'd like him to prioritize campaign finance reform.Contributors' note: We're working on two more of these segments before the election and we're interested in what you'd like us cover. Drop a comment here or you can always email us at email@example.com.Created by Pat Race, Lou Logan, Aaron Suring, Jamie Karnik and many others, Alaska Robotics News is a political satire series focused on Alaska. The series was initially funded through Kickstarter and some cash donated in an unmarked brown paper bag. Alaska Robotics is a group in Juneau publishing short films, comics and many other creative works. Follow their projects online at AlaskaRobotics.com or in person at their gallery at 220 Front Street.The views expressed here are the writer's own and are not necessarily endorsed by Alaska Dispatch News, which welcomes a broad range of viewpoints. To submit a piece for consideration, email commentary(at)alaskadispatch.com.