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Election Law Co-Chair Michael Toner Comments on New Super PACs

December 19, 2011

Election Law & Government Ethics Practice co-chair Michael Toner was interviewed by Politico for a story on Super PACs, the independent expenditure committees that can raise and spend unlimited money to support or oppose political candidates as long as they do not directly coordinate with the campaign.

The article reported that Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson is planning to send $20 million to a Super PAC supporting Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich.  In addition, a former fundraising aide for Mr. Gingrich launched another Super PAC earlier this week.

"We're really in hyper speed now with these super PACs where, in a universe of unlimited contributions, you can get seed money and be up and running with ads in a few days, particularly if a candidate gets hot like Newt Gingrich is now," said Mr. Toner, a former Federal Election Commission chairman. Mr. Toner added that there is "great potential for donor confusion, because [of] the sheer volume of these super PACs with names that are kind of similar.  A super PAC is probably more valuable to someone like Newt Gingrich because he doesn't have the organizational and financial resources of some of the other top-tier candidates."