A Super Political Action Committee is an organisation which raise unlimited amounts of money to influence elections. In January 2010, the Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v FEC, and in July 2010 Speechnow.org v FEC, both served to lift many spending and contribution limits – these decisions enabled the amount of SuperPACs to increase rapidly!
SuperPACs, however, must publicly disclose their finances and they cannot coordinate with candidate or parties, BUT they are free to advocate directly for or against a candidate. The impact of SuperPACs is hard to judge, and with it being such a short term since the 2012 US Presidential Election figures are yet to be officially confirmed. However, this is their impact in from the 2010 mid-terms:
1) In September 2010 SuperPAC spending exceeded $8million
2) There was just over one SuperPAC a day registering with the FEC every single day
3) ‘American Crossroads’, a SuperPAC in support of the Republican Party and supported by Karl Rove (former adviser to George W. Bush), contributed more than half of the total spending
4) Republican SuperPACs outspent Democrat SuperPACs by more than 3 to 1
There is a big argument on whether SuperPACs are good for politics or not. Do SuperPACs contribute to an elitist political system? Were they the reason why the Republican party gained so many seats in the 2010 mid-term election? There are no definite answers because voters vote for many different reasons, however, we would be more than happy to hear your opinion on their impact. Does campaign finance need further reform?