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Wiley Rein’s Michael Toner Discusses Proliferation of Super-PACs

USA Today
December 11, 2013

Michael E. Toner, co-chair of Wiley Rein’s Election Law & Government Ethics Practice, was quoted in a December 5 article in the USA Today reporting on the growing number of Super-PACs that fail to raise significant funds and that are not professionally run.  Despite concerns about the legitimacy and competence of certain Super PACs, the total number of Super-PACs across the country continues to climb.

A wide array of individuals and groups has taken advantage of the ability to create political committees, commonly known as Super-PACs, that are dedicated solely to making independent expenditures on behalf of federal candidates and committees and which may accept unlimited corporate and individual contributions.  As a result, some Super-PACs have raised millions of dollars while others have generated suspicions because of their lack of activity.  The Federal Election Commission monitors the groups and sends warnings to registered committees who fail to submit fundraising and spending reports.

The glut of Super-PACs creates a dilemma for persons looking to support and help a federal candidate (either potential or declared), especially in cases where more than one PAC purports to be backing the same individual.  Donors should “trust but verify,” Mr. Toner told the USA Today.  “Until Super-PACs start raising significant money or are run by credible professionals, I’m always skeptical.”