Role of super PACs in election campaigns
Are outside groups influencing voters?
- Duration 3:57
- Date Jan 18, 2012
Are outside groups influencing voters?
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A super pacs are playing a major role in this year's election spending millions of dollars to influence voters a super pacs are -- new kind of political action committee.
Created in July have 2010 they can raise -- -- sun's -- money from corporations or unions associations.
And spend as much as they want for or against political candidates.
However they cannot donate money directly to the candidates and they must report the source of their donations on a monthly or quarterly basis we were asking that question what impact this has.
I in this first presidential election that has super -- have -- -- -- back -- editorial and communications director for the Center for Responsive Politics and Vivica what do you think about that this is a historic election for a lot of reasons.
Including the super pacs.
What impact -- they haven't so far.
Well this is the new 800 pound gorilla in the room.
Super pac which there's 300 of them now honest.
That have been registered with the FEC only a handful of them have been spending big money though about 27 and a half million dollars.
And almost a third of that has been spent by a super pac supporting Mitt Romney called restore our future.
-- you're -- so that seems to be the most successful one so far.
Well it's the one that has had the most success raising.
-- mean clearly it's interesting to see this AP announces said the Associated Press took a look at.
In the primaries what was the most effective way for candidates to get the message out whether it was through retail politics -- flyers.
You get it went through -- didn't -- -- they were looking all sorts of ways and they did that advertisements wasn't the number one way.
That voters in these primaries have an influence thus far is that all of because of the super pacs and because of their competition with each other.
There has been you know an unbelievable put proliferation of ads this time around in the early primary states and I've seen one analysis showing that.
On ads by super pacs have outnumbered ads -- candidates to -- one nice relationship but the candidates because we hear it and debates we hear it when we do interviews.
I had you know you hear -- candidate say I have no idea would be super pacs are doing I can't it's illegal.
Explain to let the relationship they can or can't have with -- super -- Well it technically -- Super -- is supposed to operate independently of the candidate and not to coordinate with the candidates campaign.
In terms of when their running hands or with their messages.
But in in reality a lot of these super pacs are staffed by -- former staff members for the candidates.
And it's it's kind of like you don't have to conspire if you think alike it's what I -- think there's.
It -- LA is there is there a -- you know investigation.
Branch that's looking at.
Their communication is is someone watching the communication between super pacs and candidates.
Well obviously no federal agency can watch day by day the sorts of communications if there's a complaint filed with the Federal Election Commission they can look into it.
But in reality the the candidates themselves can actually appear in ads for the super -- they can raise money for the super pacs.
So there's very little that is actually prohibitive -- ask you about what happens to super -- if the candidates.
Drop out you -- you know Mitt Romney we know he's -- front runner at this point but hypothetically let's say that he doesn't make it used to the -- And is his super -- is still operate without him as a candidate can operate independent of Hammond and switch alliances had to say to they have the freedom to do that.
Yeah this this is kind of a gray area what happens to the money in a super pac.
If the candidate drops out.
Well of the money can be spent in some other way they're there -- very few restrictions on that and in fact most of the super -- out there that are registered are not candidates specific.
So they can spend their money really anyway they want you saying an interest -- you see so much money out there.
Hi it's Andy Rooney continue to watch -- -- -- thank you so much for joining us it's good to be -- you could be some profound changes in the sheep industry passionately count.