Independent expenditure-only “super PAC” committees have accounted for a stunning 91 percent of the television campaign advertising over the past month in Alabama and Mississippi — the two states holding their Republican primaries today. But while the more than $75 million already spent nationally by these groups has undoubtedly altered the dynamics of the presidential race, it has also annoyed the vast majority of Americans.
A new Washington Post-ABC poll shows that nearly 7 out of 10 adults don’t just dislike super PACs — groups that can accept unlimited individual and corporate donations to run ads to support or oppose political candidates; they want to see them to be banned entirely.
The survey question was:
Organizations known as Super-PACS can raise and spend unlimited amounts of money on behalf of candidates they support. (Supporters say this is a form of free speech) while (opponents say this allows groups or wealthy individuals to have unfair influence.) Do you think it should be legal or illegal for these Super-PACS to operate?
A whopping 69 percent of the more than 1,000 respondents said they believe it should be illegal for super PACs to operate. And 52 percent of those polled said they strongly support a ban. Just 25 percent said they believe super PACs should be allowed to operate in the U.S.Even 55 percent of Republicans want an end to super PACs.
Super PACs became legal in 2010 after an appellate court ruling in the Speechnow.org v. FEC case. This ruling was, in large part, based on the U.S. Supreme Court’s controversial ruling earlier that year in the Citizens United v. FEC case. Under the court rulings, Congress could not simply ban super PAC’s legislatively.
With a Montana campaign finance law currently under judicial review, the Supreme Court has a chance to correct its mistake and overturn these rulings.