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What Are Political Action Committees?

Just about every political cause has a PAC.

If you notice a yellow highlight on the page, hover over it for the definition!

A Political Action Committee (PAC) is a group of people who raise money and spend it on elections. They try to help politicians they support to get elected. They do this by getting donations and then giving the money to politicians running for office.

What Do PACs Do?

Businesses often use PACs to give money to politicians who will support policies that benefit them. Companies have to go through a PAC because, in some states, they are not allowed to donate directly to a political campaign.

Politicians can also create PACs to help other candidates.

Here is an example of how a PAC can work. Let’s say you own a bakery that sells cupcakes. One day, a group of state lawmakers decides to introduce a law banning vanilla frosting. That type of law would greatly damage your business. To stop this law passing, you might join with other bakeries to form a PAC called “Save The Frosting.”

After creating the PAC, you get donations from friends, family, and other business owners who love your cupcakes with vanilla frosting.

After raising enough money, you meet with lawmakers who haven’t announced if they would support the anti-frosting legislation. You donate money to their campaigns. During your meetings, you tell them how harmful it would be if the law passed and ask them to oppose it. Since you showed your support for the candidate by giving money to their campaign, they might help your business and oppose laws that would harm it.

Political Action Committees have been an important part of American politics since the 1940s. If you wish to influence the government in the future, you may need a PAC.

Jeff Charles

Race Relations & Media Affairs Correspondent at and A self-confessed news and political junkie, Jeff’s writing has been featured in Small Business Trends, Business2Community, and The Huffington Post. Born in Southern California and having experienced the 1992 L.A. Riots up close and personal, Jeff’s insights are informed by his experiences as a black man and a conservative.

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