Move Over PACs, Here Come Super PACs
New weapon allows virtually unlimited spending on campaigns
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Sep 28, 2010 2:35 PM CDT
In this May 17, 2010, file photo, former White House adviser Karl Rove speaks in Oklahoma City.   (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

(Newser) – Expect to hear the term "Super PAC" a lot between now and the midterms. As the Washington Post explains today, these fundraising committees are quickly becoming the norm in how modern campaigns are financed by interest groups. Thanks in part to the Citizens United court ruling, Super PACs are able to raise and spend virtually unlimited money on candidates (a total of $4 million last week alone). And they're being registered at a clip of nearly one per day.

They have "opened the door to the clearest, easiest way to spend unlimited funds on an election," a former FEC chairman tells the Post. "This is pretty much the holy grail that people have been looking for." Among the rules: The committees can't directly coordinate with parties or candidates, and they must disclose their donors. The biggest player so far is American Crossroads, set up with help from Karl Rove, which accounts for more than half of the $8 million spent so far by Super PACs on TV ads and other expenses.

More From Newser
My Take on This Story
To report an error on this story,
notify our editors.
Move Over PACs, Here Come Super PACs is...
Show results without voting
You Might Like
Showing 3 of 21 comments
Sep 28, 2010 10:52 PM CDT
545 PEOPLE Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them. Have you ever wondered, if both the Democrats and the Republicans are against deficits, WHY do we have deficits? Have you ever wondered, if all the politicians are against inflation and high taxes, WHY do we have inflation and high taxes? You and I don't propose a federal budget. The president does. You and I don't have the Constitutional authority to vote on appropriations. The House of Representatives does. You and I don't write the tax code, Congress does. You and I don't set fiscal policy, Congress does. You and I don't control monetary policy, the Federal Reserve Bank does. One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one president, and nine Supreme Court justices equates to 545 human beings out of the 300 million are directly, legally, morally, and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country. I excluded the members of the Federal Reserve Board because that problem was created by the ongress. In 1913, Congress delegated its Constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a federally chartered, but private, central bank. I excluded all the special interests and lobbyists for a sound reason. They have no legal authority They have no ability to coerce a senator, a congressman, or a president to do one cotton-picking thing. I don't care if they offer a politician $1 million dollars in cash. The politician has the power to accept or reject it. No matter what the lobbyist promises, it is the legislator's responsibility to determine how he votes. Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that what they did is not their fault. They cooperate in this common con regardless of party. What separates a politician from a normal human being is an excessive amount of gall. No normal human being would have the gall of a Speaker, who stood up and criticized the President for creating deficits.... . The president can only propose a budget. He cannot force the Congress to accept it. The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, gives sole responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating and approving appropriations and taxes. Who is the speaker of the House? Nancy Pelosi. She is the leader of the majority party. She and fellow House members, not the president, can approve any budget they want. If the president vetoes it, they can pass it over his veto if they agree to. It seems inconceivable to me that a nation of 300 million can not replace 545 people who stand convicted -- by present facts -- of incompetence and irresponsibility. I can't think of a single domestic problem that is not traceable directly to those 545 people. When you fully grasp the plain truth that 545 people exercise the power of the federal government, then it must follow that what exists is what they want to exist. If the tax code is unfair, it's because they want it unfair. If the budget is in the red, it's because they want it in the red. If the Army & Marines are in IRAQ , it's because they want them in IRAQ . If they do not receive social security but are on an elite retirement plan not available to the people, it's because they want it that way. There are no insoluble government problems. Do not let these 545 people shift the blame to bureaucrats, whom they hire and whose jobs they can abolish; to lobbyists, whose gifts and advice they can reject; to regulators, to whom they give the power to regulate and from whom they can take this power. Above all, do not let them con you into the belief that there exists disembodied mystical forces like "the economy," "inflation," or "politics" that prevent them from doing what they take an oath to do. Those 545 people, and they alone, are responsible. They, and they alone, have the power.. They, and they alone, should be held accountable by the people who are their bosses. Provided the voters have the gumption to manage their own employees... We should vote all of them out of office and clean up their mess! Be sure and vote and vote out all those that have helped to put this country in the shamefull shape it its in today. And when you get to vote again, if those you voted for did not do what they promised or put in horrible legislature then vote them out the next time. What would it hurt if everyone of them (that we vote for) were put out of office and a whole new group were installed. Becareful who you vote for you have seen the near downfall of this great nation in less that two years. DO NOT FORGET WHERE WE ARE NOW.
Sep 28, 2010 8:12 PM CDT
The only reason this makes a difference is because we as a group are easily led by media and half-truths, are too lazy to find out for ourselves what a bill means, what a representative has done, and who to vote for. Collectively, we are cattle watching TV. Moo.
Sep 28, 2010 3:57 PM CDT
The final stumbling block for corporations to have complete and open control of our government. Welcome to your new bed America, and enjoy sleeping in it. Oh, and for those who keep swinging left and right, BOTH sides are bought and paid for by the corporations, and they don't really care who's in power because they'll still get what they want in the end. I suggest everyone watch this video: