Latest FEC Reports Show Super PACs Not Only 2012 Big Money Worry
It appears the super PACS may not be the only bad big money actor on 2012's political stage.
We have all heard about the super PACs unleashed by the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling, that held corporations and unions could make direct contributions to independent, non-candidate political committees. That fiction--of being politically independent--has come undone in the GOP nominating contests as people associated with various candidates have created super PACs and spent millions on the most negative television ads seen so far.
Yesterday, the super PACs had to file their Federal Election Committee reports detailing contributors--as did other political entities regulated by the FEC-- and according to University of California-Irving election law professor Rick Hasen, who runs the most respected election law blog in the country, the big focus on super PACs might be allowing another dubious type of political committee to stay below the media radar, including one run by Karl Rove.
According to Hasen, most super PAC contributors do not appear to be corporations but are wealthy individuals. That's not entirely surprising, as individuals can move much more quickly than businesses when it comes to writing checks. This needs more study and analysis, Hasen said.
More disturbing is the way big money is shifting to more secretive so-called c-4 organizations, named for a section of the tax code concerning non-profits that can engage in political activity. Karl Rove's Crossroads USA c-4 raised more money than its super PAC, another astute election lawyer tweeted, Hasen noted, suggesting that the 2012 political landscape may yet see the impact of the another big money monster.
Would anyone be surprised if Karl Rove held back his resources until the real fight for the presidency began? Read more at Hasen's Election Law Blog.