“Super PACs keep testing the limits of campaign finance law”


Super PACs keep pushing the boundaries of campaign finance law this cycle.

They’re using novel financial arrangements, like taking “bridge funding” in the form of undisclosed de facto loans from major donors or receiving ad revenue from a candidate’s podcast. They’re also continuing to take advantage of long standing loopholes in anti-coordination guidelines.

The willingness to push the boundaries suggests that U.S. politics has entered the Wild West campaign financing system that many observers predicted would come in the wake of the court’s weakening campaign finance laws.

It comes as super PACs are taking a more prominent role in campaigning. Total spending on independent expenditures so far this cycle is nearly 2.5 times what it was at this point in 2020. And because candidates are having more and more trouble with small-dollar fundraising, super PAC money could be even more important as the cycle continues.

“As long as super PACs remain relatively under regulated in the way that they have been, the consultants who work for them and for various campaigns are going to continue trying to push the envelope using them in creative ways,” said Saurav Ghosh, director for federal campaign finance reform at the nonprofit Campaign Legal Center. “Because there seems to be very little risk in pushing against the supposed legal limits.”

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