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January 21st, 2012
06:37 AM ET

Campaign 2012: Battle of the super PACs

Today in the Newsroom, I'll be talking about super PACs. What are they? Where did they come from? How do they operate? What rules are they under?
They're changing the race - and adding a whole different kind of money game to the 2012 election.
For more info, check out this overview from the Congressional Research Service.
Track super PAC spending here, from the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics.
Our terrific political researcher Rob Yoon gave a great explanation and some figures a few days ago here.
And be sure to check out this story from our partners at, "Attack of the super PACs" (subscription required for now).
What do you think of the super PACs and their spending blitz?

Filed under: Josh Levs
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Gil McLean

    Too bad that super pacs were not allowed long before now. My wife and I had to work hard to get four sons through colleges. We never could contribute much to our political favorites. We often did not even have enough money to contribute to IRAs. I resented the fact that corporations and other institutions that believed in free market capitalism were not allowed to give a lot of money to candidates who also believed in and fought for free market capitalism. If they had been allowed to do that, they could have made up the great void we had to leave in our political contributions. I believe that those, who depict super pacs as evil, to be super shallow in their analysis.

    January 21, 2012 at 11:06 am |
  2. Joel Peshkin


    Human people have to pay taxes on income before using it for political contributions. Corporations can use tax-free (pre-tax) money for the same thing.

    How is this fair?

    January 21, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  3. Debbie

    As a chief elecftion official, I can not believe Anderson Cooper could even consider asking if CNN was ready to call the vote at this point. With only 1500 votes counted, who can even begin to say who won. Exit polls are not to be considered as "big" new based on comments made by Mr. Gingrich at the debate. Please let your news be unbiased and honest tonight. We have a long way until November!! Assumptions can not be used in this critical election year. Please do not continue making comments like "Newt Gingrich" is ahead based on exit polls. Please let the people-not the news media speak at this election. Thank you for the coverage, but let it be honest newscasting until the last vote has been counted.

    January 21, 2012 at 7:31 pm |

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