Using Super PACs to End Super PACs?

by Amanda Raimer

Widener University American Government Student

An article in the New York Times, “’Super PACs’ Finally a Draw for Democrats”, discusses how more donors are coming forward and giving large sums of money to the super PACs that support Democrats, like Priorities USA. However, they found that these newcomers were not the same categories of people who donated in the 2008 campaign, but instead are centralized to “pre-Obama” Democratic supporters such as trial lawyers, unions, and Hollywood. They also found that many of the new donors had previously been wary of super PACs as a source of unlimited funds and did not want to support these groups they felt were abusing the loophole developed in the Citizens United Supreme Court ruling.  Now, however, these people feel like the only way to shut down these super PACs is to use that power to elect officials who will change the law to eliminate these groups.

While the amount of money raised by super PACs shows that Republicans have been exploiting this track more than the Democrats, attempting to raise over three times as much money, I’m not sure that this tactic will take down the super PACs, it may make them more powerful than they already are. Giving money to these super PACs increases their power and pull in the campaign, and I think that officials, regardless of political party, will have a hard time giving up such a large source of money without being forced. Also, these groups are so important to the Republican campaigns that any campaign finance reform involving taking away super PACs will not get enough support in our federal government to establish a new policy. Giving money to these super PACs in an effort to get rid of them seems to only strengthen them further and establish an even more critical role for these groups in campaign finance.

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