SuperPACS are raising hundreds of millions of dollars for the 2016 presidential campaign with few restraints on their fundraising activities following a July 2010 federal court ruling. Technically known as independent expenditures, SuperPACS could raise unlimited sums of money from corporations, unions, associations and individuals and then spend unlimited sums to elect or defeat candidates – provided there is no direct coordination between the SuperPAC and a candidate’s organization they are supporting.
But the Federal Election Commission eroded even that minimal firewall with a recent ruling that among other things permits a candidate’s campaign consultant and other aides to drum up large donations for a SuperPAC, provided they make it clear they are not making the request at the behest of the candidate.
As of December 26, 1,702 groups organized as SuperPACs have reported total receipts of $320,812,012 and total independent expenditures of $95,079,020 in the 2016 cycle, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. This new Reuters interactive map, below, is a state-by-state breakdown of SuperPAC spending.