skip navigation
Here's how you know US flag signifying that this is a United States Federal Government website

An official website of the United States government

Here's how you know

Dot gov

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.


Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you've safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

  • Press Release

FEC Releases 18-Month Summary on Political Action Committees

September 24, 1998

News Releases, Media Advisories

For Immediate Release: Contact: Ian Stirton September 24, 1998 Ron Harris Sharon Snyder Kelly Huff




WASHINGTON - Political action committees (PACs) contributed $134.3 million to federal candidates between January 1, 1997, and June 30, 1998, according to a compilation released today by the Federal Election Commission. Of this total, $124.4 million was given to candidates seeking election in 1997-98, with the remaining $10 million going toward debt retirement and future elections. This represents a 6% increase in total giving when compared to the same 18-month period for 1995-96, when PACs contributed a total of $126.5 million. Contributions to candidates seeking election in 1997-98 increased 9% over the $114.4 million given to candidates seeking election in 1995-96.

The FEC study of 4,486 PACs shows a total of $359.4 million raised and $292.6 million spent in the first 18 months of the 1997-98 election cycle. This represents a 10.6% increase in receipts and a 15% increase in disbursements when compared to the same period for the previous cycle. PACs began the last six months of the election year with cash-on-hand of $169.9 million.

Incumbents received $113.6 million of the $134.3 million contributed, while challengers were given $8.0 million and candidates for open seats, $12.6 million. PACs reported spending an additional $1.1 million in independent expenditures, $915,039 of that regarding the current election cycle. The split between parties was almost equal. Republican candidates received $69.1 million from PACs for the first 18-months of the 1997-98 cycle, while Democrats received $65.0 million for the same period.

Accompanying this release is a 14-year overview of the percentage of PAC contributions given during similar 18-month periods to House incumbents, challengers, and open-seat candidates. The figures in this table are limited to PAC contributions given to candidates seeking election in those cycles.

Comparable 18-month summary figures for PAC receipts, disbursements, contributions to federal candidates, cash on hand, and debts are provided for six previous election cycles. Comprehensive data on PAC financial activity for the first 18 months of the 1997-98 follow, including rankings of the "Top 50" PACs.

This news release and accompanying statistics can be found on the FEC’s World Wide Web site,

Top 50 PAC''''s - Receipts

Top 50 PAC''''s - Disbursements

Top 50 PAC''''s - Cash on Hand

Top 50 PAC''''s - Contributions to Candidates