Sunday, April 12, 2015

Super PACs Move To The Forefront Of The 2016 Campaigns

Only two major presidential candidates have formally declared their bids, but the allies of at least 11 White House hopefuls have launched committees to raise unlimited money to back their campaigns — the latest sign that big money will swamp the 2016 presidential race like never before.
Operatives with ties to Sen. Marco Rubio became the latest to seize on new fundraising committees, announcing Thursday that an existing super PAC, Conservative Solutions, has been reorganized to collect unrestricted sums to advance the Florida Republican's White House ambitions. Rubio is expected to announce his candidacy Monday in Miami.
"This race will be won by the candidate with the best vision for where to take this nation and the resources to ensure that message is heard," Warren Tompkins, a longtime GOP strategist who is running the pro-Rubio super PAC, said in a statement.
"Marco has the vision — few have laid out in as much detail where they'd like to lead this country — and we're going to spend the next two years ensuring that the resources are there and used to effectively share that vision with voters," he added.
Under federal law, an individual cannot donate more than $2,700 to a presidential contender for the primary or general election. Donors, however, can give unlimited sums to super PACs, but the PACs are prohibited from coordinating their strategies with candidates. Super PACs did not exist before 2010, when a pair of federal court rulings, including the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision, paved the way for corporations and unions to spend unlimited amounts in candidate elections.
This year, super PACs and other fundraising vehicles with no contribution limits have shifted to the center of the crowded 2016 presidential race to the alarm of campaign-finance watchdogs. Former Florida governor Jeb Bush and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal are among the potential Republican candidates backed by these committees.
Two super PACs are advancing Democrat Hillary Clinton's likely candidacy.
"It will be difficult to compete in a crowded field" without a super PAC, said Austin Barbour, a Mississippi-based operative and lobbyist who is overseeing a super PAC supporting former Texas governor Rick Perry. "Anybody who is thinking about running for president has got to have a group of donors out there aggressively backing them."
Cruz Super-PAC raises $31 Million in 1 Week
In a new twist, Sen. Ted Cruz's allies announced this week that they were establishing four separate committees to support the Texas Republican's White House bid. The system will give "major donors more control and influence" over how their money in spent to advance Cruz's candidacy, said Dathan Voelter, a Texas attorney who is treasurer of the pro-Cruz super PACs.
Cruz's aides have declined to comment about the four super PACs backing his White House bid.
Read the rest of the story HERE.

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