“‘Super PACs’ Spent Millions Before Candidates Announced, Filings Show”

Eric Lichtblau for the NYT:

Acting as shadow campaigns, the political committees backing the major presidential candidates supported them with tens of millions of dollars in chartered planes, luxury hotel suites, opposition research, high-priced lawyers and more, spending reports showed Friday.

Campaign disclosures filed with the Federal Election Commission underscored just how far the candidates — particularly Jeb Bush — went in outsourcing many of their traditional campaign operations to “super PACs,” which face much looser regulation.

The super PACs, which have dominated the fund-raising landscape so far in the 2016 campaign, reported that they had raised a total of at least $245 million so far this year, with individual donations of a million dollars or more to Mr. Bush, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas and others.

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