Definition of super PAC
- In 1974, Congress enacted limits on individual contributions to federal candidates and political committees in the wake of the Watergate scandal. In 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court in the Citizens United case declared the corporate expenditure ban unconstitutional, holding that independent expenditures could not be constitutionally limited in federal elections, and implicitly that corporations could give unlimited amounts to other groups to spend, as long as the expenditures were made independently from the supported candidate. Subsequently, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D. C. Circuit … held that the limits on individual contributions to groups that made independent expenditures were unconstitutional. Thus was born the super PAC.
- —Fred Wertheimer, CNN.com, 14 Feb. 2012
- Some strategists in both parties said they believed that the central role of super PACs in the Republican primaries will make it difficult for candidates in 2016 — when both parties will have contested primaries — to resist deploying allies to organize one, forcing them to compete for the allegiance of a small group of wealthy donors who can write six- and seven-figure checks.
- —Nicholas Confessore, New York Times, 12 Nov. 2012