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Jan Baran Talks to Roll Call about Ruling Affecting Super PACs

Roll Call
June 15, 2011

Wiley Rein's Jan Baran discussed with Roll Call the recent federal court ruling allowing super PACs to donate to candidates. Currently, super PACs can already amass unlimited funds to spend on campaign ads for a candidate. With U.S. District Judge Rosemary Collyer's decision, super PACs also will be allowed to function as conventional PACs and donate up to $5,000 to that same candidate's campaign, as long as the money is kept separate. "The expanded ability does not apply to candidate committees, leadership PACs or party committees," Mr. Baran-co-chair of the firm's Election Law & Government Ethics Practice-explained. "There has been an 'incremental' transition in power from national parties and candidates to PACs, beginning in 2002 with the enactment of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law," he added. "That's one of the ironies. The current law is that the people who need the money the most, like parties and candidates, cannot raise soft money, but those PACs that don't need it that much can raise as much as they want," Mr. Baran concluded.