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    Overview of PAC Power Inside the World of Political Action Committees by Larry J. Sabato

    Number of Pages: 6


    Summary of the research paper:

    In six pages the author's intentions are summarized. Two sources are cited in the bibliography.

    Name of Research Paper File: TG15_TGpacpow.rtf

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    on using this paper properly! What in the world is a PAC? It is not six cans of beer or soda pop, to be sure. It  is an acronym for political action committee, which few of the average Americans even know about, but every representative or senator knows all of the powerful ones by name.  In fact, PACs probably wield more power and influence in Washington than any politician, and yet its members are not elected by the voting public. In order to put  PACs in a more understandable perspective, perhaps it would be helpful to examine its roots within the American political landscape. While special interest groups have always been involved in  the political process, they grew increasingly important during the 1960s and 70s. The Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (FECA), and its mid-70s amendments not only legitimized PACs, it  empowered them. They were committees which were created by corporations and labor unions with a single goal in mind: to solicit (or lobby) for policy assistance from Congressional candidates  (Greenwald 150). These committees are comprised of individuals who wish to contribute their financial resources to further their shared cause. The key to any PACs success has always  been money - the more money raised by contributions, the greater its influence. PACs raise money for political campaigns on the federal, state and local levels as a way  of influencing policy. In other words, if a candidate takes PAC money, he or she is expected to, in return, support the legislation favored by the PAC. How PACs  are formed, and operate within the American political framework is the complex process political science professor Larry J. Sabato attempts to put in an understandable perspective in his 1984 text, 

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