Candidates receive large support from these groups, whether ethical or not.
By Mattie Stevens
In recent elections Super PACs (political action committees), have become influential political groups with the abilitiy to donate millions of dollars to individual campaigns. These groups are made up of wealthy investors as well as average Americans. Super PACs can attribute their creation to two court cases, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (FEC) in 2010 and Speechnow.org v. FEC two months later. Citizens United v. Federal Election Commision decided that the government cannot prohibit corporations and unions from donating money to organizations for political purposes. Speechnow.org v. FEC decided that PACs who didn’t make financial contributions to candidates, parties or other PACs could accept any amount of contributions from corporations, unions or individuals in order to spend independently.
This election season, there have been two major Super PACs that have been apparent. The first is Restore Our Future, which supports Republican nominee Mitt Romney, and Priorities USA Action, which supports President Barack Obama.
Restore Our Future not only supports Romney, but also attacks his opponent, President Obama. On its website’s information page, it begins by listing what is wrong with the country’s current state, and then goes on to proclaim that Romney is the man who can help.
“America is at a historic crossroads, yet President Obama has failed to devise real solutions or prompt meaningful actions to address the problems facing workers, job creators, and the American financial system… Mitt Romney has an unquestionable record of cutting spending, reducing debt, and creating jobs.”
Priorities USA Action focuses less on pointing out Romney’s faults, but instead focuses on Obama’s strong suits and his platform. On its information page, the Super PAC states that it fights for candidates who support economic policies that produce jobs and invest in America’s economy and stress the importance of fairness and equal citizen opportunity for health care. The group values investment in education and hopes to ensure innovation, excellence, and competition as American standards. It hopes for a leader who will ensure America’s continued position as a respected world leader.
“At Priorities USA Action, we believe the stakes for protecting our country’s core values have never been higher as the far right pursues an agenda that rewards only the wealthiest few at the expense of middle class families,” according to their website.
These campaigns are most commonly seen on ads shown on TV, Youtube, and other various websites, and are sometimes informative, but can also be drastically misleading. On the contrary they can lead people to want to research the issues represented in advertisements or at least be informed of what is considered a “hot topic.” Although at a times an added confusion to the political process, today Super PACS are an integral part of election season.