Shut the Door on “Super-Duper PACs”

Email date: 5/14/12

Supreme Court rulings gave birth to new special interest campaign committees at the federal level that have exploded on the scene in the 2012 presidential campaign. These groups known as “Super PACs” already have spent close to $100 million influencing the presidential race, and half of the money raised by the five major presidential Super PACs came from just 20 donors.

A narrow majority on the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the Citizens United case that unlimited interest group election spending will not lead to corruption or even the appearance of corruption, and will not cause Americans to lose faith in democracy. A supermajority of Americans could not disagree more. Well over two-thirds of Americans think Super PACs should be outlawed.

Federal Super PACs can raise and spend as much money on elections as they want. But they are required to eventually disclose their donors. In Wisconsin elections, there are groups that are the state-level equivalent of federal Super PACs, but they are even worse in one very important respect. They don’t have to disclose where their money comes from. Call ’em Super-Duper PACs.

Nearly four dozen groups already have spent more than $12.3 million seeking to influence the recall elections, and more than half of them are allowed to keep their donors a secret. A half dozen other groups operate in a way that enables them to conceal not only their sources of income but even the amount of money they are spending.

This is criminal. Well, it ought to be a crime. Sadly, it is perfectly legal. At a bare minimum, if interest groups are going to spend unlimited sums of money to pollute the airwaves and poison our elections, the people of Wisconsin deserve to see where every single penny comes from.

Take a minute to sign our petition and add your voice to ours in calling for state lawmakers to close the loopholes in state law that thwart the public’s right to know and allow interest groups to keep voters in the dark about who is really behind all the half-truths and outright lies and character assassinations that plague our state elections.


Spread the word by sending this message to people you know. To support the Democracy Campaign’s efforts to make people matter more than money, go here.



Wisconsin Democracy Campaign
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Madison, WI 53703
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