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Business PACS Keep Focus Directly on Candidates

Corporate and trade association PACs continue their longtime practice of giving money directly to candidates rather than the spending funds on independent expenditures or giving to Section 527 organizations, according to a new study of business PACs.

Only 14.1 percent of business PACs have used independent expenditures as a communications format asking the public to “vote for” or “vote against ” a candidate. Only 14.8 percent of business PACs have contributed to Section 527 organizations.

These are some of the findings of a new study titled, “Trends in Business Political Action Committees 2011-2012 Election Cycle,” by the Graduate School of Political Management at George Washington University, SAGAC Public Affairs and the National Association of Business PACs.

Besides business PACs primarily giving directly to candidates, 81.2 percent are also giving to a candidate’s leadership PAC, 66.4 percent are contributing to political party committees, and 26.8 percent are engaging in in-kind fundraisers for candidates.

Those business PAC individuals responding to the survey identified themselves as 62.7 percent Republican; were an average age of 42; and 40 percent had been in their job for between 4 and 10 years. 35.3 percent had been in their job three years or less.

The report also indicated respondents felt the worst PAC fundraising months were November and December. The summer months of June, July and August was the next lowest period. March was the best month for fundraising. These months held true for election and non-election years.

The survey report does break down percentages between trade associations and corporate PACs.

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