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For Immediate Release
June 27, 2002
Contact: Bob Biersack
Ron Harris
Ian Stirton
Kelly Huff

 

PAC ACTIVITY CONTINUES TO RISE

WASHINGTON – Financial activity of Political Action Committees (PACs) continued to rise during the first 15 months of the 2001-2002 election cycle when compared with earlier cycles, according to the latest analysis by the Federal Election Commission. A total of 4,328 PACs reported receipts of $397 million between January 1, 2001 and March 31, 2002, up 13.7% from the same period in 2000, and disbursements of $315.9 million, up 12% from the previous cycle.

These committees contributed $131.4 million to federal candidates during this period, a 5.6% increase over 2000 levels. They reported $230.9 million cash-on-hand as of March 31, 2002, with debts totaling $8.5 million.

Contributions to candidates were almost evenly divided among the major parties, with Republican candidates receiving $66.4 million compared with $64.8 million contributed to Democrats. Incumbents received the bulk of PAC contributions through March, with a total of $115.1 million representing 87.6% of all PAC contributions. Challengers received $6.5 million (4.9%) and open seat candidates received $9.8 million (7.4%).

PACs sponsored by corporations represented the largest group of committees, in both number of PACs and total receipts, followed by labor, nonconnected (usually ideological) committees, and the group of trade associations, membership organizations, and health-related PACs. The distribution of PACs by size continues to be highly skewed, however, with a large number of very small committees (in terms of financial activity) and a much smaller number of very large committees. The table on page 6 shows that only 1.6% of all PACs (those with receipts of greater than $1 million) actually raised 39.3% of all PAC funds during the first 15 months of the cycle.

The table below shows receipts, disbursements, contributions, cash-on-hand, and debts for the six categories of PACs tracked by the FEC from January 1, 2001 through March 31, 2002.

No. of Committees Receipts Disbursements Cash on Hand Contributions Debts Owed by
Corporate 1,672 $112,122,173 $89,997,142 $67,275,180 $49,995,587 $198,696
Labor 326 $97,542,029 $75,698,563 $64,739,058 $25,908,091 $124,666
Non Connected 1,257 $93,178,625 $77,188,842 $34,862,114 $16,658,827 $7,742,516
Trade/Membership/Health 914 $85,728,144 $65,934,266 $56,778,585 $35,248,980 $67,846
Cooperative 41 $2,512,058 $1,974,017 $2,689,735 $1,301,054 $0
Corporations Without Stock 118 $5,913,041 $5,156,687 $4,608,857 $2,250,934 $374,685
Total 4,328 $396,996,070 $315,949,517 $230,953,529 $131,363,473 $8,508,409

In addition to federal receipts and disbursements shown above, some PACs (mostly nonconnected committees) maintain nonfederal accounts and must therefore use a combination of federal and nonfederal funds to pay for activities that may relate to both federal and state or local elections (overhead expenses, etc.). These PACs reported transferring a total of $11.7 million in nonfederal funds (often referred to as "soft money") into their federal accounts to pay a portion of these expenses.

Nonfederal transfers by PACs through March of the election year:

2002 $11,669,139
2000 $9,427,372
1998 $7,533,760
1996 $4,165,444
1994 $4,045,339
1992 $3,115,575

The top 10 committees reporting nonfederal transfers through March 31, 2002:

Committee Nonfederal Transfers
EMILY'S LIST $3,142,293
NEW DEMOCRAT NETWORK $1,850,706
GAY AND LESBIAN VICTORY FUND $868,750
21ST CENTURY FREEDOM PAC FEDERAL (FKA ECONOMIC FREEDOM PAC) $522,214
21ST CENTURY DEMOCRATS $515,948
DEDICATED AMERICANS FOR THE SENATE AND THE HOUSE PAC(DASHPAC $417,986
NEW CENTURY PROJECT $410,969
THE WISH LIST $377,282
VOTER REGISTRATION 2002- FEDERAL ACCOUNT $309,229
SEARCHLIGHT LEADERSHIP FUND $289,533

Tables on the following pages provide summary information for PACs from 1990 through 2002, breakdowns of contributions to candidates by type of campaign, and listings of the 50 largest committees overall and in each category by Receipts, Disbursements, Contributions, and Cash-on-hand.

Tables

The tables in [HTML] format can be read using your web browser. The [EXCEL] files are workbooks that can be read using Excel from Microsoft.

  • 15 Month PAC Financial Activity (Through March 31 of the Election Year) [HTML] [EXCEL]
  • PAC Contributions 2001-2002 Through March 31, 2002 [HTML] [EXCEL]
  • PAC Receipts by PAC Type And Size, January 1, 2001 - March 31, 2002 [HTML] [EXCEL]
  • Top 50 PAC’s [EXCEL]
    • Top 50 PAC’s by Receipts Through March 31, 2002 [HTML]
    • Top 50 PAC’s by Disbursements Through March 31, 2002 [HTML]
    • Top 50 PAC’s by Contributions to Candidates Through March 31, 2002 [HTML]
    • Top 50 PAC’s by Cash on Hand as of March 31, 2002 [HTML]
  • Top 50 Corporate PAC’s [EXCEL]
    • Top 50 Corporate PAC’s by Receipts Through March 31, 2002 [HTML]
    • Top 50 Corporate PAC’s by Disbursements Through March 31, 2002 [HTML]
    • Top 50 Corporate PAC’s by Contributions to Candidates Through March 31, 2002 [HTML]
    • Top 50 Corporate PAC’s by Cash on Hand as of March 31, 2002 [HTML]
  • Top 50 Labor PAC’s [EXCEL]
    • Top 50 Labor PAC’s by Receipts Through March 31, 2002 [HTML]
    • Top 50 Labor PAC’s by Disbursements Through March 31, 2002 [HTML]
    • Top 50 Labor PAC’s by Contributions to Candidates Through March 31, 2002 [HTML]
    • Top 50 Labor PAC’s by Cash on Hand as of March 31, 2002 [HTML]
  • Top 50 Nonconnected PAC’s [EXCEL]
    • Top 50 Nonconnected PAC’s by Receipts Through March 31, 2002 [HTML]
    • Top 50 Nonconnected PAC’s by Disbursements Through March 31, 2002 [HTML]
    • Top 50 Nonconnected PAC’s by Contributions to Candidates Through March 31, 2002 [HTML]
    • Top 50 Nonconnected PAC’s by Cash on Hand as of March 31, 2002 [HTML]
  • Top 50 Trade/Member/Health PAC’s [EXCEL]
    • Top 50 Trade/Member/Health PAC’s by Receipts Through March 31, 2002 [HTML]
    • Top 50 Trade/Member/Health PAC’s by Disbursements Through March 31, 2002 [HTML]
    • Top 50 Trade/Member/Health PAC’s by Contributions to Candidates Through March 31, 2002 [HTML]
    • Top 50 Trade/Member/Health PAC’s by Cash on Hand as of March 31, 2002 [HTML]
  • Top 50 Cooperative PAC’s [EXCEL]
    • Top 50 Cooperative PAC’s by Receipts Through March 31, 2002 [HTML]
    • Top 50 Cooperative PAC’s by Disbursements Through March 31, 2002 [HTML]
    • Top 50 Cooperative PAC’s by Contributions to Candidates Through March 31, 2002 [HTML]
    • Top 50 Cooperative PAC’s by Cash on Hand as of March 31, 2002 [HTML]
  • Top 50 Corporation Without Stock [EXCEL]
    • Top 50 Corporation Without Stock PAC’s by Receipts Through March 31, 2002 [HTML]
    • Top 50 Corporation Without Stock PAC’s by Disbursements Through March 31, 2002 [HTML]
    • Top 50 Corporation Without Stock PAC’s by Contributions to Candidates Through March 31, 2002 [HTML]
    • Top 50 Corporation Without Stock PAC’s by Cash on Hand as of March 31, 2002 [HTML]