It’s a Super PAC World and We Just Vote in It: Super PAC Resources & Links


Super PACs a/k/a “Independent-expenditure Only Committees” . . . they seem to be all over the news these days, don’t they? These organizations, which came to fame through the 2010 Supreme Court Citizen’s United decision, garnered lots of attention right out of the gate. In 2010 alone, almost 80 super PACs emerged to spend more than $60 million to elect or defeat federal candidates. (Super PACs in Federal Elections: Overview and Issues for Congress, CRS 12/2/11).  Super PACs stand to be an even bigger force this year as we head into the Presidential primaries and the general election so I thought I’d share the small collection of resources I’ve come across lately which might help us all better understand what kind of ride we might be in for in the coming months.

Decisions, Decisions

Citizen’s United v. Federal Elections Commission – The 2010 Supreme Court Opinion that started the ball rolling by allowing unlimited corporate and union spending in federal elections.

SpeechNow v. Federal Elections Commission – This ruling significantly broadened the impact of Citizens United, “extending its constitutional reasoning from campaign spending to campaign donations.” (SCOTUS Blog, Widening impact of Citizens United)


CRS Report: Super PACs in Federal Elections: Overview and Issues for Congress, December 2, 2011.

Who’s Sorta Who

Presidential Super PAC Who’s Who: Sunlight Foundation Cheat Sheet

Federal Election Commission – Independent Expenditure-Only Committee Reports

Ongoing Reporting & Analysis

Sunlight Foundation – Super PACs Blog Feed

C-Span Video – Campaign Finance

SSRN Working Papers on Citizen’s United

Fight the Power

National Conference of State Legislatures – This resource looks at the 24 states that currently prohibit or restrict corporate and/or union spending on candidate elections, and includes links to specific statutes and laws. – This group has organized to reverse the Citizens United ruling and maintains a list of resolutions and ordinances abolishing corporate person-hood.

Montana Supreme Court Upholds Election Spending Limits – LA Times, January 4, 2012.

The Big Apple Lashes Out About the Citizen’s United Decision – Wall Street Journal Law Blog, January 5, 2012. The New York City Council approves a resolution opposing the Citizen’s United decision.