What Is A Super PAC?

Super PACs (Political Action Committees) are organizations that collect unlimited donations to buy American elections.  Two court decisions in 2010: Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission and SpeechNow.org v. Federal Election Commissionopened the door for independent expenditure-only committees (Super PACs) to accept unlimited donations from corporations, unions, associations, and individuals.

While Super PACs cannot contribute directly to a candidate’s campaign, they can spend unlimited amounts of money on TV ads promoting a candidate or against a candidate.  Super PACs, which are legally not allowed to “coordinate” with a candidate’s campaign, are usually started by the closest associates of a candidate.  You are supposed to believe they do NOT coordinate, because that would be illegal.

Super PACs are required to disclose their revenue sources and expenditures, but can choose between filing monthly or quarterly.  Typically, they will time these filings so that the last reporting period is not revealed until after an election has passed.  Also, Super PACs can accept donations from non-profit front groups that keep their funders seceret.  Another way to hide funding sources is to have donors create a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC), make a huge donation, and then dissolve the LLC.

Super PACs are, quite simply, the best way to buy the votes of low-information voters through negative ads with distorted facts, half-truths, and outright lies.  When billionaires need to get masses of people to vote against their own economic interests, they donate to Super PACs.

Also see: The Super PAC Song

 

 

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