Like Causes?

Install the App
TRY NOW

senate Bill S. 1838

Keeping Super PACs and Candidates From Getting Too Chummy

Argument in favor

Democracy suffers and the needs of ordinary citizens are overlooked when Super PACS — which can receive unlimited contributions — act as an arm of a candidate's campaign.

Vince's Opinion
···
06/02/2016
Campaigns should be more regulated so that anybody who wishes to run for office has just as good a chance to win as someone with a seemingly unlimited amount of money. Public office should not belong only to the rich.
Like (40)
Follow
Share
Leo's Opinion
···
06/01/2016
I would prefer banning SuperPACs but this is a start.
Like (18)
Follow
Share
Joseph's Opinion
···
06/02/2016
Super Pacs, lobbyists, and corporations give large sums of monies to presidential candidates and members of the legislative branch of government and I suspect more recently the judicial branch. The reasons are not noble or idealistic, but rather, they expect a substantial return from their investment. Subsequently, they are purchasing the votes, signatures, and opinions of our elected leaders. I might add, that by accepting these monies, our elected officials are selling our government, our Constitution, and our security to the highest bidder without regard to their constituents. The long one short of it is, that these institutionalized entities are bribing our government officials and this needs to stop.
Like (13)
Follow
Share

Argument opposed

Political contributions are a form of free speech. Coordination is already banned between Super PACs and candidates, so this bill would just add duplicate unnecessary complications.

pgshpak's Opinion
···
06/02/2016
The ability to exercise your voice isn't based on how much money you earn, and that's why correlating spending with free speech is erroneous.
Like (10)
Follow
Share
operaman's Opinion
···
06/01/2016
Not concerned with who sleeps with who or who is chummy with big money. This is back door stirring the pot too erase the 1A. Besides, laws are in place keeping candidates from getting chummy with SuperPacs. Shutting down SuperPacs would be against free speech and freedom of the press. Only a Socialist would vote against to suppress.
Like (9)
Follow
Share
Rebino's Opinion
···
06/02/2016
It is the money under their ownership not ours. Besides this is the only way for 3rd party candidates to make it.
Like (2)
Follow
Share

What is Senate Bill S. 1838?

This bill would come down heavy on coordination between political candidates and Super PACs (Super Political Action Committees).

Super PACs are political fundraising organizations that can accept donations of unlimited size from individuals and groups. They may not contribute directly to (or coordinate officially with) candidates’ campaigns, but can run shadow campaigns by independently advocating for or against candidates.

This legislation would alter language in the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 to more strictly define what constitutes “coordination” between Super PACs and candidates. This would help ensure that a Super PAC dedicated to a single candidate does not simply function as an (unlimited, less regulated) arm of that candidate’s campaign. Specifically, under this legislation, a Super PAC would be illegal if:

  • It was created at the suggestion or encouragement of the candidate it supports;

  • The candidate (or the candidate’s agents) fundraise for (or share fundraising lists with) the Super PAC;

  • The Super PAC is established or directed by former advisers or consultants to the candidate, or by members of the candidate’s immediate family

  • The Super PAC has retained the professional services of anyone who provided professional campaign services to the candidate in the past two years

This sort of collaboration between candidates and Super PACs is common, but usually overlooked by regulators. Super PACs are often run by friends of the candidate they support, are endorsed by the candidate's committee, or schedule the candidate as a "special guest" at fundraisers in his/her name. Those connections shouldn't be surprising though, these are groups of people who are willing to raise and put down a lot of money for a candidate — it makes sense that they would be close connections. 

The legislation would also prohibit Super PACs from using an “internal firewall” loophole to skirt coordination bans by setting up a separate “independent” division for expenditures. It would also eliminate a ban on political contributions from minors that the Supreme Court ruled unconstitutional in 2003.

Impact

Super PACs, political candidates, the Federal Election Committee, and anyone living in the U.S.

Cost of Senate Bill S. 1838

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In Depth: Super PACs are a relatively new type of organization. They were made possible by two 2010 Supreme Court decisions, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission and Speechnow.org v. FEC.

Before the emergence of Super PACs, political spending was primarily limited to:

  • Individuals, who may give up to $2,700 to a political candidate in an election cycle. Individuals may also contribute limited amounts to national, local, and state party committees.

  • Political Action Committees (PACs), which are are political fundraising groups that can contribute up to $5,000 directly to candidates, as well as make limited contributions to national parties and other PACs. PACs receive their funding from individuals (who may give up to $5,000 per PAC, per year), but not corporations or labor unions. PACs must register with the FEC and report contributions in and out. 

  • Leadership PACs are special PACs formed by politicians to help fund other candidates' campaigns.

Unlike regular PACs, Super PACs may raise unlimited sums of money from individuals — as well as from corporations, unions, and associations — and spend unlimited sums to advocate for or against political candidates. 

As long as there is no official coordination with candidates, Super PACs can create ads, host events, and run side campaigns on behalf of candidates. Super PACs are required to report their donors to the Federal Election Commission. However, they can accept contributions from nonprofit organizations, who in turn, do not have to disclose their donors. In this way, so-called "dark money" can make its way from anonymous donors, to nonprofits, to Super PACs.


Of Note: Sponsoring Sen. Patrick Leahy said in a press release:

“The Stop Super PAC-Candidate Coordination Act today would end the sham practice of presidential candidates boldly and shamelessly exploiting our campaign finance laws by coordinating with allegedly independent super PACs… We have always remained steadfast in our belief that our democracy should not be for sale, and that the size of your bank account should not determine whether or not the government responds to your views or needs.”


Media:

(Image Credit: Screenshot/ YouTube)

AKA

Stop Super PAC-Candidate Coordination Act

Official Title

A bill to amend the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 to clarify the treatment of coordinated expenditures as contributions to candidates, and for other purposes.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The house has not voted
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Rules and Administration
    IntroducedJuly 22nd, 2015
    Campaigns should be more regulated so that anybody who wishes to run for office has just as good a chance to win as someone with a seemingly unlimited amount of money. Public office should not belong only to the rich.
    Like (40)
    Follow
    Share
    The ability to exercise your voice isn't based on how much money you earn, and that's why correlating spending with free speech is erroneous.
    Like (10)
    Follow
    Share
    I would prefer banning SuperPACs but this is a start.
    Like (18)
    Follow
    Share
    Super Pacs, lobbyists, and corporations give large sums of monies to presidential candidates and members of the legislative branch of government and I suspect more recently the judicial branch. The reasons are not noble or idealistic, but rather, they expect a substantial return from their investment. Subsequently, they are purchasing the votes, signatures, and opinions of our elected leaders. I might add, that by accepting these monies, our elected officials are selling our government, our Constitution, and our security to the highest bidder without regard to their constituents. The long one short of it is, that these institutionalized entities are bribing our government officials and this needs to stop.
    Like (13)
    Follow
    Share
    Yes, some say this is a "free speech" and should be left alone. Question is, how much free speech do I have with $100 against the $100 million super pac? The political aristocracy needs to be destroyed.
    Like (12)
    Follow
    Share
    Not concerned with who sleeps with who or who is chummy with big money. This is back door stirring the pot too erase the 1A. Besides, laws are in place keeping candidates from getting chummy with SuperPacs. Shutting down SuperPacs would be against free speech and freedom of the press. Only a Socialist would vote against to suppress.
    Like (9)
    Follow
    Share
    This is a strong bill that further restricts super PACs
    Like (9)
    Follow
    Share
    Political candidates should be elected based upon public support, not the combined interests of wealthy organizations
    Like (9)
    Follow
    Share
    This is common sense legislation. Both Republicans and Democrats unfairly use superPACs. it's time for the average American citizen to be equal to the rest of American society!
    Like (7)
    Follow
    Share
    Unlimited funding for any political candidate by any entity undermines the majority of voters.
    Like (6)
    Follow
    Share
    It's unfair to voters when Super PACs, with nearly limitless cash, are allowed to team up with candidates and have a much larger influence on elections than the vast majority of voters.
    Like (6)
    Follow
    Share
    I entirely disagree with the proposition that campaign contributions are a form of speech. The cash nexus in politics has been demonstrated to be wholly corrosive to public interests and to private morals, and should be done away with or severely limited. Yet even if contributions were a protected form of speech, that still doesn't mean that it couldn't be regulated by Congress: I'm not allowed to falsely shout fire in a crowded theater with impunity just because it is free speech, nor am I allowed to publicly reveal state secrets because I have a right to free speech. When one person is able to spend millions on their "free speech" that necessarily drowns out and limits the rights of those who can only spend hundreds on their exercise of the right. For this reason, a limit on contributions has always been considered an equalizer of the right to participate in political speech, rather than an impediment...at least until Citizens United.
    Like (5)
    Follow
    Share
    It's a step toward returning politics to fiscal sanity.
    Like (5)
    Follow
    Share
    We need to get money out of politics but until we do, we need to make politicians represent all of his or her constituency & not just those who have money.
    Like (5)
    Follow
    Share
    Money in politics is the root cause of many regressive policies that continue to make it difficult for America to progress politically, socially, and economically.
    Like (5)
    Follow
    Share
    It is time that "serving the people" isn't synonymous with big money. If u get rich in public service, you're doing it wrong
    Like (4)
    Follow
    Share
    The cabinet hearings have shown the partisanship of these Super Pacs and the influence they have over our elected officials
    Like (4)
    Follow
    Share
    Get big money out of politics. This is a step in the right direction.
    Like (4)
    Follow
    Share
    The rich already have too much influence in our political system.
    Like (3)
    Follow
    Share
    Good deal for "We The People" to be counted correctly as we VOTE!
    Like (3)
    Follow
    Share
    MORE