According to federal finance laws, individual contributions to federal candidates are capped at predetermined amounts.
An example: you can contribute $2,700 to a Congressional candidate for each primary, runoff, and general election. (www.fec.gov) In contrast, an individual (you) can contribute unlimited amounts of funds towards a Political Action Committee (PAC). According to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), “The term “political action committee” (PAC) refers to two distinct types of political committees registered with the FEC: separate segregated funds (SSFs) and non-connected committees. Basically, SSFs are political committees established and administered by corporations, labor unions, membership organizations or trade associations. These committees can only solicit contributions from individuals associated with connected or sponsoring organization. By contrast, non-connected committees, as their name suggests, are not sponsored by or connected to any of the aforementioned entities and are free to solicit contributions from the general public.” (FEC, 2015)
Directions: Using at least one specific example, address the influence of political action committees on campaigns and elections.
- Provide a brief summary of the political action committee.
- Analyze the purpose of this political action committee.
- Analyze the finances of this political action committee.
- Overall, do political action committees help or hinder our democracy?
- Defend your answer with specific rationales.
Federal Election Commission. Quick Answers to PAC Questions. Retrieved from http://www.fec.gov/ans/answers_pac.shtml