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

(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.

In this May 17, 2010, file photo, former White House adviser Karl Rove speaks in Oklahoma City.
In this May 17, 2010, file photo, former White House adviser Karl Rove speaks in Oklahoma City.   (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)
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