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Patricia O'Connell
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Wiley Rein's Jan Baran Weighs in on Super PACs and Independent Spending

USA Today
March 1, 2012

Wiley Rein’s Election Law & Government Ethics Practice co-chair Jan Baran, was quoted in an article focused on Super PACs and independent spending.

While individuals are limited to contributing $2,500 to a candidate’s campaign per election, there are no restrictions on the donations that can be given to super PACs, which are barred from directly coordinating with candidates. However, many candidates and their Super PACs share aides, donors and consultants, which has raised questions about the independence of these groups. “It’s not illegal for supporters of a candidate to be involved in independent spending, and there’s no law that requires only opponents to be involved in independent spending,” Mr. Baran said.

Additional concerns have been raised in light of a Super PAC that supports candidate Mitt Romney reusing a television ad from his previous presidential bid. A complaint stating that this move violates a Federal Elections Commission (FEC) rule prohibiting the republication of campaign materials by political action committees has been filed with the FEC. Mr. Baran said “it’s not clear that the ban applies to material from an earlier campaign.”