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Lecture 7

PSC 101 Lecture Notes - Lecture 7: Political Action Committee, Campaign Finance In The United States

Political Science
Course Code
PSC 101
Stephanie Paul

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Interest Groups, Corporations, and Inequalities
Representational inequalities
Power goes to most organized
Most recourses
Advocacy groups
Characteristics of individuals: higher incomes, education than general
Focus on quality of life issues (i.e. consumer rights environmental
protection, women’s rights, civil liberties, civil rights, rather than issues of
poverty or income inequality)
Resource Inequalities
Business interests dominate
Political Action Committees (PACS)
Political committee organized for the purpose of raising and spending
money to elect and defeat candidates
PACS represent business, ideals or ideological interest
PACS can give $5,000 to a candidate committee per election (primary,
general or special)
PACS can also give up $15,000 annually to any national party committee
PACS can give $5,000 annually to any other PAC
Leadership PAC
Committees, that belong to a politician's, which raise money to help other
Why would politicians raise money for other candidates?
Gain clout among their colleagues and boost bids for leadership
posts or committee chairmanships
Lay groundwork for own campaign for higher office
Super PACS
Created after U.S. Court of Appeals decision in vs.
Federal Election Commission in 2010
Super PACS make no contribution to candidates or parties, but make
independent expenditures in federal races
I.e. running ads, sending mail, etc.
Raise unlimited sums of money from corporations, unions, associations
and individuals
No limits or restrictions
Citizens United vs. The Federal Election Commission (2010)
Supreme court ruled that laws restricting electioneering by corporations
violated free speech protections
Access Inequality
Access to government decision making
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