CHH Politics: Super PAC’s have no place in the electoral process

Trey Crumbie

Campaign finance can be highly a complicated and confusing topic at times. There are so many rules and regulations when it comes to the rules of campaign finance that you may need a specially-written Encyclopedia in order to fully comprehend all of the rules. This article, however, will only focus on one aspect of campaign finance and that is the presence of Super PACs within modern day campaigning.

For those of you unfamiliar with the term, a Political Action Committee (PAC) is an organization that runs a campaign on behalf of or against political candidates, issues or any type of legislation. Super PACs are considered be an advanced form of this, as they are permitted to raise and donate as much as they possibly can as long as they do not contribute to the candidate directly. This can have many devastating effects on political campaigns.

We will start with the obvious. A few Super PACs can completely control the outcome of an election. As much as it pains me to say this, political campaigns are usually won by whoever spends the most. Since Super PACs aren’t inhibited by spending limits, they may spend as much as they want on political advertisements and the like. If coordinated correctly, Super PACs may effectively drown out messages by opposing forces by outspending them by a wide margin. By Super PACs effectively controlling public political messages, this could skewer election results in the favor of the Super PAC’s intended goal. This is not democracy, but rather mob rule. 

Secondly is who can run and fund Super PACs. Although, Super PACs cannot legally coordinate with political candidates or parties, Super PACs can be run by those formerly affiliated with a candidate or party and usually are. Not only are these organizations usually run by partisan individuals, but they receive a large portion of their funds from affluent individuals or corporations. Once again, the presence of Super PACs within political campaigns defeats the purpose of democracy by letting only a select few individuals control the campaign.

Super PACs are a cancerous and detrimental part of the electoral process. They have the potential to completely sway a election in one direction with minimal opposition if any. Rules regarding the operation of Super PACs should be reformed heavily or outlawed all together for the sake of preserving the future of democracy in America.