What are Super PACs & When Are They Releasing Their Donor List?

By | January 31, 2012

Exactly who are the folks funneling unlimited amounts of money into the coffers of political candidates?  We are set to find out who is giving loads of cash to Super PACs on the same day that Floridians and Oregonians are heading to voting booths.  In Florida, today is the state’s primary elections, while Oregon’s 1st Congressional District holds a special election to fill the seat vacated by David Wu.

The most common question surrounding Super PACs seems to be, “What are they?”.  The answer  leaves many with quizzical expressions and a cloud of confusion in the air.  This is due to the convoluted legal language that is involved with their formation and operation.

For this legal language – and how to get around it – we will look at one of the most talked about Super PACs this year would be that of Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert – named “AMERICANS FOR A BETTER TOMORROW, TOMORROW“.  Colbert (pronounced “Coal-Bear”) formed his own Super PAC, and has since highlighted the loopholes and fallacies of the legal structure of them.  Below is a video of Stephen Colbert talking on ABC’s “This Week” pointing out the silliness of the Super PAC structure while being a “candidate”:

Stephen Colbert

And yet another great interview that shows that contradictory nature of the Super PAC legalities:

See?  This is a twisted system with an even more twisted structure.  This page on the FEC website provides some information, and a list of registered Super PACs.


When the Super PACs release their list of donors Tuesday, we will see who is donating unlimited amounts of money to the 2012 political process.


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One thought on “What are Super PACs & When Are They Releasing Their Donor List?

  1. Jimmie T.

    An interesting and Utopian look at campaign bundling. In a vacuum, yes, Super PACs are unnecessary.

    That isn’t the world we live in. For decades the left has had Super PACs that aren’t Super PAC’s – we call those unions. In some states, workers are forced to join them and donate into those Super PACs.

    For sure, the correct answer is to make it illegal for both kinds of Super PACs to operate politically, but to disparage one without recognizing why it’s necessary is going to make more crappy laws popular that will give the unions no viable counter.

    Take away the union’s ability to bundle and direct funding for a campaign and I’d be happy to give up Super PACs.

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