The 2016 presidential campaign has barely begun, but it is already clear this will be the super contest of the “super PACs” — the fast evolving political money machines that are irresistible to candidates because they can legally raise unlimited money from donors seeking favor and influence. The idea of a super PAC created to support an individual candidate was little more than an experiment four years ago when strategists for Mitt Romney tested its potential after misguided court decisions shattered federal limits on spending on elections. President Obama, after initially denouncing unlimited contributions, used a super PAC in his re-election.
Money poured in, and this year all the major candidates, Republican and Democratic, will be counting on supposedly “independent” super PACs. They will be able to benefit from funds far greater than the amounts allowed under current regulations, which limit contributions to a candidate’s formal campaign organization to $2,700 per donor in the primary contests and $2,700 in the general election.
Super PACs are supposedly independent of the candidate’s campaign, but that distinction has just about vanished. In fact, strategists for the campaign of Jeb Bush are reportedly considering turning over some of the campaign’s central functions to their “independent” Right to Rise super PAC, making it the super-lucrative tail that wags the dog.
Full Article: How Super PACs Can Run Campaigns – NYTimes.com.