Federal and State Political Action Committees (PACs) and SuperPACs

Federal “Independent Expenditure-Only Political Action Committees,” also known as Super PACs in their current form, are now almost a decade old, arising to prominence in the wake of the landmark cases SpeechNow.org v. Federal Election Commission and Citizens United.

Super PACs are not limited in the amount of money they can raise and spend, and they are allowed to receive contributions in support of or opposition to candidates and campaign committees from corporations, unions, associations and individuals. SuperPACs cannot donate directly to political candidates, campaign committees, or parties, nor may they coordinate their spending with candidates, campaign committees, or party committees. SuperPAC donor names are disclosed to the Federal Election Commission.

Political action committees, SuperPacs, and independent expenditure-only committees can also exist and participate in politics at the state level and in the District of Columbia. As such, state PACs can be subjected to up to 51 different regulatory schemes, depending on where the committee wants to “play.”

Creating and maintaining a SuperPAC can be challenging, especially for new-comers to the 21st Century American political scene – but strategic use of SuperPacs (and other political committees) can be a rewarding way to participate in electoral politics at the grassroots and above.  We at Cook Craig & Francuzenko, PLLC have decades of experience with state and federal campaign, candidate, party, and independent political committees, creating them, helping manage their risk and working through the regulatory process. If you have any questions please contact us and set up a consultation.

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