In the name of freedom of expression, extremely wealthy donors and companies have, since 2010, been able to spend as much as they want to support or impede candidates. Who are the new beneficiaries of these millions of dollars? Super PACs, powerful committees that have become key players in election campaigns. They emerged following two court decisions: Citizens United vs FECand SpeechNow vs FEC. A number of Americans decry the considerable influence wielded by super PACs, particularly since a number of committees are not required to disclose the identity of their contributors.

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Demonstrators run towards the front steps of U.S. Supreme Court after they broke through the police line January 20, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Washington, January 20, 2012)

By the Numbers
  • Over 94 %
    of the donors to the 5 main super PACs gave individual donations of over $25,000 (March 2012 data)
  • 25million
    The amount contributed to super PACs by the most generous donors - billionaire Sheldon Adelson and his wife, Miriam (March 2012 data)
  • 7out of the 10
    most generous donors are billionaires or millionaires, not companies (April 2012 data)
  • 69 %
    of Americans believe the new rules will lead to corruption
    Sources : New York Times,Washington Post / ABC News poll