Obama Backtracks on Super PACs

Obama in a surprise decision has decided to support Super PAC’s (Political Action Committees) going from his original stand of being their biggest critic. PAC is a proxy organization that backs political campaigns, but do not directly get involved in the campaign. They are allowed to raise unlimited amounts of money and are often headed by highly influential people with deep pockets.

The decision comes in the wake of Democrats being unable to match the financial clout of the Republican campaign, which has seen them raise tens and millions of dollars. Obama urged supporters and wealthy fundraisers to back Priorities USA, a super PAC run by former Obama loyalists to match the Republican campaign. It is also rumored that a Hollywood big shot; one of the biggest contributors to the Democratic Party, is said to be backing the group.

Obama had reservations about the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision that lifted various limitations on campaign contributions. As mentioned before PAC’s cannot be involved in the campaign directly, however the Republicans have used them very cleverly, especially in creating negative advertising in the first part of the campaign. It is important to note that the Republican super PACs, American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS led by Karl Rove raised almost $51 million last year, while Democrats raised only $19 million.

The decision made by Obama was conveyed to all supporters in an e-mail. Jim Messina, the Campaign manager for the President wrote in the e-mail, that it “can’t allow for two sets of rules” referring to the Republican Party benefitting from PACs.

“We decided to do this because we can’t afford for the work you’re doing in your communities, and the grassroots donations you give to support it, to be destroyed by hundreds of millions of dollars in negative ads,” Messina said.

The e-mail also mentioned that some of the campaign officers and White House officials would be part of fundraisers arranged by Priorities USA, but would not seek money directly. On the other hand, it was made clear that the likes Vice-President Joe Biden and First lady Michelle Obama would be solely focused on the job at hand and would not attend any such events.

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