Wednesday, July 9, 2014

2014 Elections: Influencing Politics and People

            As we approach the 2014 elections, I am sure that everyone who watches television or listens to the radio will be inundated with advertisements advocating issues, or supporting or attacking political candidates.  

            This post summarizes some of the differences between the groups that sponsor those advertisements.


Application filed with

Description of the group
An organization “operated only to promote social welfare to benefit the community.”
Political Action Committee (PAC) created primarily to influence the selection, nomination, election, appointment or defeat of candidates to federal, state or local public office. 

A PAC that agrees not to make contributions to federal candidates, political party committees, or to PACs that contribute to candidates and political party committees, and instead to make only independent expenditures.

Ability to engage in politics
May engage in political activities, as long as these activities do not become their primary purpose.

Must spend less than 50% of their money on politics.

Can have "issue ads" that cannot use a candidate's name or likeness and are supposed to be used to educate the public on broad issues or positions.

Engages in political activities.
Engages in political activities.

Cannnot coordinate with a candidate’s campaign or a political party.

Can make independent expenditures that support or oppose a candidate for public office.
Accept unlimited, non-tax deductible donations
Accept limited (based on FEC regulations), non-tax deductible donations

Able to accept unlimited non-tax deductible donations from most entities — individuals, unions, and corporations

Donor reporting
Donors kept anonymous

* Some states, such as NY, have imposed donor reporting regulations

Donors are publicly reported
Donors are publicly reported
• Crossroads GPS
• Americans for Prosperity
• Priorities USA

• American Crossroads
• Club for Growth
• Patriot Majority USA
• Priorities USA Action


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