Super PACs put up $7M for primaries

Dec. 20, 2011 at 4:20 PM
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WASHINGTON, Dec. 20 (UPI) -- Super PACs, which can take in big money in support of specific U.S. candidates, have already put up more than $7 million in early primary states.

The U.S. Supreme Court's landmark and much criticized Citizens United decision allows political action committees to seek open-ended contributions. They cannot work directly with the candidates they support but knowing the PACs are out there buying TV time allows the campaigns to limit their own spending, the Boston Globe reported.

The Super PACs must report who has donated money -- but do not have to do so until Jan. 31. That is after the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire and South Carolina primaries and the same day as the Florida primary.

Most of the spending so far is focused on Iowa where the caucuses are two weeks away, New Hampshire, where the primary comes a week later, and South Carolina.

Restore Our Future, which supports former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, reported to the Federal Election Committee that it has spent $287,250 on TV time in Florida, the Globe said.

Restore Our Future has raised the most money. The group is expected to spend more than $3 million in Iowa and has already invested heavily in ads and mailers attacking former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

There are also Super PACs pushing former Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman and, on the Democratic side, President Obama. Three linked to Gingrich are registered but have yet to spend any money.

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