SuperPACs: the ultimate get-rich-quick scheme

You know what's awesome about SuperPACs? You can raise an infinite amount of money and spend it on anything you like, including yourself: "ChristinePAC, formed by former Delaware Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell, used up $469,425 on consulting, travel, marketing, and other administrative costs without spending anything to support or oppose 2012 candidates, according to the FEC data." [Businessweek] (via Super Punch)


  1. According to Stephen Colbert, you can also transfer the money from your SuperPAC to some kind of super-duper-double-secret-cross-my-heart-and-hope-to-die-PAC, and not even have to report what the money was spent on.

    1. I bet Christine O’Donnell wishes she had seen that episode of Colbert Report before spending all that cash in a somewhat transparent fashion.

  2. One of the interesting things is that the SuperPACs that Karl Rove created were different. There was Crossroads and Crossroads GPS. Both could collect and spend money with few restrictions, but only Crossroads GPS gave the donors the ability to hide their identity. Only Crossroads GPS got the big bucks? Why? What were/are they afraid of? 
    The don’t want the almighty shareholders know that they are spending money on LOSING political campaigns. 

    So imagine you are a company whose all important hedgefund, pension fund and HWIs know you have spend millions in potential profit funding a loser. What do you do? 
    Say that you are a consumer facing company that services the minority community and your customers find out you spend millions supporting hard right republicans? Your customers can bug you.

    So if I wanted to activate these pissed off individuals I would find a way to take this information to the Shareholders and to the customers.  

  3. Reaction #1: This really is disgusting development in the US election process.

    Reaction #2: I wonder how hard it would be for me to get a successful SuperPAC to get rich off.

    1. Probably slightly more difficult than doing it through Kickstarter, but at least you don’t actually have to promise anything that anyone believes you might actually be able to deliver.  (No, I’m not bitter about several of my KS “investments”…)

  4. Yo dog, I herd you like corruption so I corrupted your corruption so you can be corrupt while you corrupt…

    Honestly, I’m semi inclined to hope that these little money-laundering vehicles really start attracting vultures, to create the serious risk that any given one is just a scam. It’s not as though they’ll be reformed out of existence, but they just might rot sufficiently that cutting a SuperPAC a check is seen as about as sensible as sending a few thousand to the finance minister of Nigeria in order to expedite the release of an unclaimed inheritance…

  5. Romney:  Oh noes, lost the election?  What should I do with all these Super PACs who can’t contact me directly but can funnel money anywhere they want?  Bite me Cayman Islands, I’ll just keep things here.

    1. Bribery can be accomplished with much lower legal and accounting overhead (indeed, keeping the number of people involved to a minimum is generally encouraged)…

  6. This ties in nicely with speculation that the reason Team Romney got so little bang for the buck was that grifters were funneling a lot of the funds into their own pockets.

  7. Super Pacs are only doing what politicians are able to do. Any campaign funds that aren’t spent can sit tax free until the next campaign. When the politician retires they can pull those funds as their own — tax free. It’s one of the ways that $55,000.00 a year city councilmen can retire as millionaires.

  8. My theory on the reason Sarah Palin did her “fake” run for president was simply to amass as many millions into her SuperPAC as she could before legally living off the wealth for the rest of her life. Of course, no one will ever be able to prove that because as far as any federal agency is concerned, that money has legally vanished and is now completely unaccounted for. Neo-cons are getting the unregulated scam artist leadership they deserve: Fleeced by those who “represent” them, and blaming their political foes for the aftermath, just like Fox News tells them to think.

    I truly wish for the day the right returns to its senses and rebuilds its party based on trust and compassion instead of the attitude that Adam Smith warned about: “All for ourselves, and nothing for other people, seems, in every age of the world, to have been the vile maxim of the masters of mankind.”

    1. Don’t forget the big clothes shopping trip at the party’s expense. Celebrity Makeover: Political Edition.

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