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Political Action Committees

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NEWS
April 15, 2011 | By Bob Warner, Inquirer Staff Writer
City Council and Mayor Nutter moved quickly Thursday to close a loophole that has allowed the city electricians' union to circumvent Philadelphia's limit on campaign contributions. Council abandoned plans to study the issue for another two weeks and unanimously passed a bill that bars political action committees, known as PACs, from evading the limit by funneling money through other PACs before it gets to candidates. Nutter signed the bill at 3:41 p.m., saying it was important to move "as quickly as possible" because "when you're in the middle of a municipal election cycle we should not have any activity that allows folks to do indirectly what we all know you can't do directly.
NEWS
June 3, 2002 | By Jake Wagman and Kaitlin Gurney INQUIRER SUBURBAN STAFF
Longtime players on the national stage, political action committees have gone local. PACs, as they are known, have been the mechanisms through which industries and interest groups raise money to support state and national candidates. Now, the hometown politician is playing. All it takes to form a PAC in New Jersey is two people with a mailing address and some money to spend. In the last several election seasons, PACs have emerged and flexed their muscle in local races from bucolic Eastampton to bustling Washington Township.
NEWS
February 21, 2012
A pair of "super" political action committees supporting top Republican presidential candidates spent nearly $24 million in January, according reports filed Monday. A7
NEWS
February 11, 2012
The Philadelphia Board of Ethics announced Friday the once-every-four-years adjustments in the campaign contribution limits for individual and political action committees. The city code calls for the finance director to certify the adjustments, which are based on the Consumer Price Index. The limits are the maximum contributions that can be made to or accepted by candidates for city elective office and their political action committees. The new limits on what a person or organization can give have been increased to $2,900 for an individual and $11,500 for political action committees and other entities, such as partnerships and businesses.
NEWS
April 14, 2011 | By Bob Warner, Inquirer Staff Writer
At least two City Council candidates - Councilman-at-large Bill Green and a union political director, Bobby Henon - have accepted campaign contributions from the local electricians union in excess of the city's $10,600 annual limit, taking advantage of a flaw in Philadelphia's campaign-finance law. The city Board of Ethics identified the problem last year and the Nutter administration sponsored legislation in February to deal with it. ...
NEWS
July 27, 2016
By Hans von Spakovsky Americans are often told that there's too much money in politics - that we spend too much on campaigns. But that claim doesn't hold up when you consider that in our elections, we are choosing the people who lead the local, state, and federal governments of the most powerful country in the world. During the 2012 presidential election cycle, the Federal Election Commission reports that candidates, political parties, and political action committees raised and spent a little more than $7 billion.
NEWS
May 10, 1986 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
Heading into the stretch run of the Democratic primary in the First Congressional District, U.S. Rep. Thomas M. Foglietta had about $111,000 more cash available than challenger James J. Tayoun, although Tayoun, with a personal loan, had raised more money as of the end of April, the candidates' financial statements show. In Philadelphia's other hotly contested congressional race, the Republican contest in the Third District, Feasterville lawyer Robert Rovner had about $71,000 more cash available than former congressman Charles F. Dougherty, although that included $50,000 from his own pocket, according to financial statements.
NEWS
June 9, 1986 | BY JOSEPH W. DRAGONETTI
In the Gettysburg Address, Lincoln referred to a "government of the people, by the people and for the people. " The United States Constitution provides for the rights of citizens to "petition the government for redress of grievances. " But the framers of that document of western man did not envision the growth of political action committees which, if not checked, could seriously pervert the democratic process. Instead of a government of the people, we may become a government of special interests.
NEWS
October 25, 2003 | By BOB WARNER warnerb@phillynews.com Daily News columnist John Baer contributed to this story
If the federal government's City Hall probe is focused on Philadelphia's pay-to-play political system, the players don't seem to be worried. In the two weeks since electronic bugs were discovered in Mayor Street's office, the mayor's re-election campaign has collected more than $1.6 million in fresh donations. Most of the money came from the same broad circle of developers, law firms, labor unions and political-action committees that have contributed generously to Street in the past.
NEWS
December 7, 2003 | By Nancy Phillips INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
With a historic vote to change the city's pay-to-play culture, Philadelphia is poised to join the ranks of other top cities that limit campaign contributions. But some key problems loom. Some experts question whether City Council has the authority to enact campaign-finance limits because election law is governed by the state. Detractors, including Mayor Street, warn that the measure's strict limits on direct contributions will lead to a flood of so-called soft money and increase the influence of state political parties and political-action committees in city races.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
July 27, 2016
By Hans von Spakovsky Americans are often told that there's too much money in politics - that we spend too much on campaigns. But that claim doesn't hold up when you consider that in our elections, we are choosing the people who lead the local, state, and federal governments of the most powerful country in the world. During the 2012 presidential election cycle, the Federal Election Commission reports that candidates, political parties, and political action committees raised and spent a little more than $7 billion.
NEWS
May 11, 2015 | Wendy Ruderman & Mensah M. Dean, Daily News Staff Writers
WITH LESS than two weeks to go before Philadelphia's primary election for mayor, state Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams has more cash on hand to spend than chief rival, former City Councilman Jim Kenney, according to campaign-finance reports filed yesterday. But money from political-action committees, which can spend unlimited amounts promoting a candidate as long as they don't work with the candidate, will likely even out the playing field between Williams and Kenney. During the second and final reporting cycle of the primary race, Williams' campaign raised about $1.3 million from Jan. 1 through May 4, according to the candidate's report.
BUSINESS
December 12, 2012 | By Chris Mondics, Inquirer Staff Writer
In the aftermath of a presidential election campaign in which business and labor groups made millions in undisclosed campaign contributions, a group of retired Pennsylvania judges has taken the unusual step of calling on Congress to require donors to disclose who they are. Business and labor unions spent record amounts following the Supreme Court's 2010 Citizens United decision, which overturned laws that limited campaign spending by special interests....
NEWS
August 19, 2012 | By Dan Hardy, Inquirer Staff Writer
  Joe Watkins, head of a political action committee that supports school choice initiatives, former managing director in an asset management firm, and a Philadelphia minister, has been appointed by state Education Secretary Ron Tomalis to guide the financial recovery of the struggling Chester Upland School District. "Joe is a qualified individual who has the ability to assist the Chester Upland School District with long-term financial stability, as well as ensuring the district's students continue to have access to quality academic programs," Tomalis said in a statement Friday.
NEWS
July 18, 2012 | By Jim Abrams, Associated Press
WASHINGTON - Senate Republicans have blocked Democratic-backed legislation requiring organizations pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into campaign ads to disclose their top donors and the amounts they spend. GOP opposition prevented Democrats from getting the 60 votes needed to bring what is known as the Disclose Act to the Senate floor. The vote Monday was 51-44. Democrats revived the act during a presidential election campaign in which political action committees and nonprofit organizations, funded by deep-pocketed and largely anonymous contributors, are dominating the airwaves with largely negative political ads. Another version of the Disclose Act passed the then-Democratic-controlled House in 2010 but was similarly blocked by Republicans in the Senate.
NEWS
May 26, 2012 | By Clarke Canfield, Associated Press
PORTLAND, Maine - Scores of Maine churches will pass the collection plate a second time at Sunday services on Father's Day to kick off a fund-raising campaign for the lead opposition group to November's ballot question asking voters to legalize same-sex marriages. Between 150 and 200 churches are expected to raise money for the Protect Marriage Maine political action committee, said Carroll Conley Jr., executive director of the Christian Civic League of Maine evangelical organization and a member of the PAC. Conley is also trying to get support from religious leaders around the country.
NEWS
May 18, 2012 | Inquirer Editorial
President Obama's failure to fix the broken Federal Election Commission has helped turn the campaign trail into the Wild West, where the biggest guns shoot any which way they want. Government contractors have been prohibited for decades from contributing to federal political campaigns, but that hasn't stopped a super-PAC supporting Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney from actively soliciting about $1 million in donations from them. After the Los Angeles Times broke the story, the super-PAC, called Restore Our Future, began telling potential donors to seek legal counsel before giving, but it didn't turn down their money.
NEWS
March 12, 2012
SHELDON ADELSON. Foster Friess. Frank VanderSloot - these days, every presidential candidate has a billionaire (or two), and these are the most prominent of the rich guys currently exercising unprecedented influence over the American electoral system. As predicted, corporate contributions are dominating politics ever since Supreme Court's Citizens United decision in 2010 allowed them to spend unlimited sums of money on Political Action Committees - just so long as the committees don't "coordinate" with individual candidates.
NEWS
February 28, 2012
By Doyle McManus Chalk up another win for the law of unintended consequences. When federal courts ruled in 2010 against restricting donations to political action committees, Republican strategists rejoiced. Here, they thought, was a way for the GOP's deep-pocketed donors to gain an advantage over President Obama's fund-raising machine. But look what happened. "Super-PACs," as the newly empowered political action committees are known, have mutated like election-year Godzillas, wreaking havoc in an increasingly bloody Republican primary campaign.
NEWS
February 21, 2012
A pair of "super" political action committees supporting top Republican presidential candidates spent nearly $24 million in January, according reports filed Monday. A7
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