PACs and Advocacy: Where is your money going?

Elections may be over, but the political arena is just beginning to heat up. As newly elected officials take their legislative positions, advocacy groups and political candidates are preparing to make their voices heard during the upcoming Florida congressional session

Amidst the hustle and bustle however, it becomes easy for smaller groups to fail to impress their needs on officials. To aid this, many organizations have found themselves depending on political action committees, or PACs, to enhance the scope of their message. But what is a PAC exactly, and where does one get its influence from?
Following rewrites of Florida’s campaign finance laws, PACs were created as a way for candidates and community organizations to raise and spend large sums of money to further the political goals and mission of their cause. Unlike other types of committees, PACs have no limit on the amount of money allowed to flow in from donors. To protect the funds of a political committee and ensure donations are being used responsibly, PAC’s are strictly regulated by the IRS and Florida Elections Committee. These regulations seek to promote the operational transparency of Political Action Committees, to ensure PACs are supporting the goals of the community. Amidst these regulations PACs are required to routinely submit spending reports, and those who fail to do so or do so tardily are subject to large penalty fines.

PACs are large and influential, able to produce messaging and media material to support the political goals of their choosing.  But they need your help. Without the economic and political backing of dedicated community members, PACs carry little influence in legislature. It is the support of local constituents seeking change that gives validation to the actions of PACS and allows them to accomplish political change.

For the full details on Political Action Committees see:
Fenner, Norene. “Crowd Sourcing.” Influence. 29 September 2016: 69. Print.