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DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Retired » Retired Forums » 2016 Postmortem (Forum) » Publicly Funded Elections... » Reply #8

Response to Dustlawyer (Reply #6)

Tue Feb 9, 2016, 02:54 PM

8. Super Pacs have nothing to do with publicly funded elections

That is an entirely separate issue. And yes, Bernie does get support from Super Pacs. As we know the National Nurses United Super Pac has spent more money on promoting his candidacy during the primary than any of the Clinton-related Super Pacs have done (they're apparently saving their funds for the general). There's also the CWA SuperPac. Candidates do not control this outside money or how these groups can spend it. They can't even refuse to have a Super Pac--they have no control over whether outside groups decide to spend money supporting them.

Here's what a Super Pac is:

Super PACs are a relatively new type of committee that arose following the July 2010 federal court decision in a case known as SpeechNow.org v. Federal Election Commission.

Technically known as independent expenditure-only committees, super PACs may raise unlimited sums of money from corporations, unions, associations and individuals, then spend unlimited sums to overtly advocate for or against political candidates. Unlike traditional PACs, super PACs are prohibited from donating money directly to political candidates, and their spending must not be coordinated with that of the candidates they benefit. Super PACs are required to report their donors to the Federal Election Commission on a monthly or semiannual basis the super PAC's choice in off-years, and monthly in the year of an election.


Public funding is a separate issue. It means candidates raise funds from individuals (who have set limits for contributions; this is true for all candidates, whether Republican, Democratic, or Independent). The government matches the first $250 of such funds. In return, candidates must agree to spending no more than $48 million during the primaries and/or $96 million during the general.

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