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PACs May Become More Secret In 2012 Race, Experts Say

October 7, 2011 by  

PACs May Become More Secret In 2012 Race, Experts Say

Because Florida and other early-voting states have moved their primaries into January, some campaign finance experts believe that the 2012 Presidential race may have loopholes for the first time allowing large, undisclosed corporate donations to be made through political action committees (PAC).

According to The Washington Post, the new schedule increases the possibility of outside spending groups running millions of dollars in ads in the final days of the races. No disclosure will be required until the contests are over.

Super PACs, the new type of political group that is unrestrained by spending and contribution limits, have the power and funding to run advertisements and promote the candidate of their choice with hundreds of millions in corporate and private funds. Depending on how the PACs decide to navigate Federal Election Commission (FEC) deadlines, all transparency in the 2012 race may be lost, according to some experts.

“There are more and more ways to keep things secret if you want to,” Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, told The Post. “This is just another example of a way to make secret expenditures until after the election.”

The next disclosure deadline for super PACs is Jan. 31, when FEC reports covering the last six months of 2011 are due. Last week, Florida Republicans changed the State’s primary to Jan. 31, forcing Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina to bump their dates into early January. This means that reports won’t be filed before votes in those States are cast.

Now by either confining spending to 19 days before the primary or switching to a monthly reporting schedule, PACs can leave voters in the dark as to which special interest groups are pushing their candidates.

Sam Rolley

Staff writer Sam Rolley began a career in journalism working for a small town newspaper while seeking a B.A. in English. After learning about many of the biases present in most modern newsrooms, Rolley became determined to find a position in journalism that would allow him to combat the unsavory image that the news industry has gained. He is dedicated to seeking the truth and exposing the lies disseminated by the mainstream media at the behest of their corporate masters, special interest groups and information gatekeepers.

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  • s c

    Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but this seems like just another way for secretive, wannabe felons who have much to hide can funnel massive amounts of dollars into the coming election. If that’s the case, then we have yet another election up on the auction block.
    Couple that with the high probability that Chicago-type low-lifes will be manning voting booths, so whoever controls the booths controls the outcome of the election. Gee, I thought we had an administration that cared about transparency and character and all those things that make America a better country.
    I suspect that the heavy flow of moisture runing down my legs isn’t rain or high humidity. Have we been had AGAIN? What does it take for people to understand that good government CAN’T be bought?

    • Dwayne

      Super PACs are the byproduct of the 2010 Supreme Court decision.
      This decision allowed corporations, unions and individuals the right
      to donate unlimited funds to outside groups to campaign for or against candidates. (Just the facts)

    • AJ

      Haven’t you heard “Democracy the best government money can buy”.
      It’s sad but true.

      • Kate8

        I recently heard someone on the radio comment that, whoever becomes the frontrunner with the biggest campaign and the most ads, is the one who is the pick of the elite, and has unlimited funds backing him.

        sc, if we even make it to the next election, there is little doubt that it will be business as usual. I personally know people who mean well and try to do the right thing, but they still can’t see through the smoke and mirrors. They will vote for anyone they believe can beat Obama, the “lesser of two evils”, even if it means more evil. They still don’t understand who is behind both parties.

      • marilyn cunningham

        unfortunately, that is why the “1%” can rule the rest of us.

  • Jennie

    All transparency MAY be lost? . . . . With this administration it is almost guarnteed.

    • Dwayne

      Super Pacs was a Supreme Court decision. “Just the facts” not an administration decision.

    • bob wire

      The currency administration had little to do with creating this problem but it’s safe to say they are up to their neck in it by the action of a few that are “players”. It’s a prevailing “climate” more so then just a situation.

  • bob wire

    It’s a given. The HILL is awash in money and the Supreme Court in their wisdom had made it easier then ever before. In part, Thank 43 and all of his justice selections and the conservatives that seen it wise that Corporate America is seen as a Quzi-person yet void responsibilities of a person.

    Wonderful! Great job if you can get it!

    • Dwayne

      As a man thinks so is his ways, the way that a man thinks and the way that he lives and walk is alway right in his own eyes.

      • bob wire

        So how does a Corporation walk and think?

        • marilyn cunningham

          The corporation walks and talks and thinks like the major stockholders (owners and corporation officers). but it worships only money!

    • AlleninReality

      Conservatives started this???? Nope this is the work of NEOCONS, NEOLIBS and NEOtarians. All the wealthy, corrupt, corporate, Zionist,
      Kosher pigs are behind all this and they are ready to pay what is necessary to keep the republic out of the picture.

      • Mark19441979

        You you a so blinded by hatteras that you can’t see farther than your
        nose.I don’t think that Zionists have anything to do with what is going on,but if they do, they are smarter than you non kosher pigs

  • Alex

    It is amazing that so many Conservatives, forever railing against ‘activist’ courts, were silent when the John Roberts Supreme Court rubber-stamped the Citizens United corporations-are-people law. What a total farce and what hypocrites it exposed so many of you to be—after all, what could be more activist than our Supreme Court making such sleazy, backseat love to Big Money?

    I will believe that corporations are people when Texas executes one.

    • Bob Petersen

      Alex — What a great comment, ” when Texas executes one”. Superb. However, if Texas secedes, will that still count. Rick perry should push for that when he loses.

      • Alex

        The line about the execution is a great one, indeed, but I must give credit to an unknown woman occupying Wall Street—it was on her sign.

        • marilyn cunningham

          maybe we should try some of the corporations in a court of law, and then execute (dismantle) the guilty ones! We can do it–we are the 99%!

      • eddie47d

        It’s sad that Corporations were given personhood and unlimited powers. Alex’s statement rang so true about executions or at least jail time for corporate offenders. If a real person commits a crime as an individual he can go to jail for life or be executed even for small felonies.How do you execute or jail a Corporation that steals millions and they do it with impunity? On the main subject of political donations every Individual has a right to donate to their favorite candidate and that includes corporate CEOs. I don’t believe that a donation should be given in the name of let’s say Goldman Sacs,Koch Brother Construction,GE,Microsoft Corp or under any corporate name or business. The owners of these companies certainly should be able to give but as an individual not as the corporation.

        • daniel

          Along the same line of thought eddie. If corporations should not be allowed to donate to campaigns they should also not be allowed on the Cabinet or be presidential advisers.
          Hey I even remember a candidate that promised no special interests, corporations or lobbyists allowed at the White House. Guess who and how long that promise lasted?
          I also know of a candidate that wanted complete honesty and openness when it came to donations. Guess who has failed to deliver? In the last presidential campaign do you want to venture a guess as to who accepted the most corporate cash?
          I have yet to see a presidential campaign fund raising dinner that an ordinary dishwasher could afford. Dems for the poor people? Bull!! See how many became millionaires while in office.

    • s c

      A, in answer to your Quisling question, your false god in the W H sharing the same philosophical bed with the head of GE is much more ‘activist’ than the S C’s recent antics. Are we to believe that you are outraged that your poser prez would stoop to being a bunkie with the head of a corporation, when he supposedly hates all corporations? Now that we know your political addiction, you’d be advised to have your ‘facts’ straight before you put on an omniscient mask, comrade.

  • Michael Lewis

    If the United States Supreme Court defined freedom of religion using the same logic that it has used to define a free press only the church or synagogue “as an institution” would enjoy freedom of religion, not its parishioners!

    The so called “Press Exemption”, 2 USC 431 (9) (B) (i), is actually a press restriction placed on every “living person”! Election laws have effectively transferred unrestricted “First Amendment Rights from Living beings “We the People” to “legal persons” designated as newspaper and broadcast businesses.

    For almost 184 years “We the People” were free to pool our money to pay for yard signs and political handbills without first getting the approval or permission of any federal agency. “We The People” were not required to deny our “individual rights” and form a political committee in order to communicate political ideas and opinions! Until 1975 the Federal Election Commission did not exist and there was no federal agency limiting distribution of political opinions.

    And why would anyone believe that the use of a “Free Press” for the purpose of “making a profit” i.e. today’s commercial newspapers and broadcasters, would be less corrupting to our political process than the “not for profit” use of a “Free Press” by groups of citizens driven by their shared morale or political ideas?


    FREE: means unrestricted, unencumbered.

    A “PRESS” is a device not a business.

    A “FREE PRESS” means that every citizen is entitled to an equal right to use a “PRINTING PRESS”!

    NEWSPAPER: A piece of paper on which is caused to be printed an advertisement or any information for the purpose of public distribution.

    A “NEWSPAPER” is a product of the “printing press” not the definition of a “FREE PRESS”. Magazines, religious tracts, advertisement and political handbills are also products of a “FREE PRESS”!

    A newspaper or broadcaster is not limited how much can be spent on editorials for or against candidates or issues. Why should individuals and citizens groups be limited? Isn’t it more likely that media corporations beholding to special interest advertisers would corrupt the process more than the communications of citizens and citizens groups?
    Has corruption in politics been reduced since the creation of the Federal Election Commission and the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act or has corruption reached new levels?

    I believe the voice of “We the People” is the best disinfectant!

    • Dwayne


    • marilyn cunningham

      GO FOR IT! Let’s make it true. back to the old and better ways. NO SPECIAL INTERESTS AND LOBBYISTS!

  • D Dude

    We have lost control of our country. It is run by a bunch of self-serving crooks. The only think left is to vote them out of office after one term no matter who we have to elect to prevent them from getting
    more control than they have. If one of them finally gets some good rules, laws, etc passed then he/she will have a chance at a second term.

  • don

    if a candidate could be exposed as having no ties with this bunch and ever soul in every election primary and general voted in a non eletist candidate or nominee and president. the vote is bigger than the dollar. most of the candidates are made to look as glamourous in a beauty pagent and the fool voters fall for it every time. if everyone voted for a nonelites candidate and he had majority vote he better win. if the electoral college gave it to the other there would be a revolution. thats about how bad our government has gotten. vote everyone if you want real change. votes should have more power than big money if we go by the constitution.

    • AlleninReality

      Nice concept Don, but the NEOCONs/Neolibs changed all that and our votes count the same as a dead leaf on your lawn in the fall. Ready
      and waiting for the winds of change to shift.

    • Monte

      Money buys power. Power is used to accumalate more money with which to buy more power for more money for more…. Big Money is behind everything happening in this country and in Europe. Our current Moron-in-Chief, buddies with Big Money men like Warren Buffet and George
      Soros, hands out, within 6 monthes of his mesiah-like entrance into office, 100′s of billions of our money to the same group he now proclaims is the enemy. How stupid does he think we are? This joke-of-a-leader is not only the greatest disaster to hit America, but I get the uncanny feeling he was used to condition us for the worthless liberal/necon Republilcan that will replace him. Our future sure seems grim.

      • marilyn cunningham

        Obama is not a Christian, that is why his ideas are wrong. But he IS accomplishing his goals, he is very intelligent; but he is leading us in the wrong direction.

  • Lavant

    The American has the freedom to vote ,but their vote is worthles.the unions and big Corps and special intrist groups and all the bribes you know ,you pat my back and I will pat yours with big bucks,This is the nation we have become .because the people let it happen.Its called POWER over the people And ther is people which intemmidate you at the place of voteing and gets away with it.

  • marilyn cunningham

    and the unions give us our jobs and expect us to bow down to them! We must unite until they finally have to pay attention. The biggest problem today is that the unions are now high-jacking the OccupyWallStreet movement. We must separate ourselves somehow from the unions.


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