Quick Facts- Legislative PACs in Connecticut

What is a PAC? Connecticut law outlines the role of a PAC in state elections. It’s a political action committee organized for the purpose of raising and spending money to elect or defeat candidates both at the state and local levels. Most PACs represent partisan, business, labor, or ideological interests.

Federal Law also defines a PAC for federal elections, and the two definitions may be different. In this issue, we are only talking about Connecticut PACs-specifically two types of PACs related to the Connecticut General Assembly-Legislative Caucus PACs and Legislative Leadership PACs.

 

Legislative Caucus PACs: The members of the same political party in a house of the General Assembly may establish a single Legislative Caucus PAC. The name of the PAC typically reflects whether it’s created on behalf of House or Senate Democrats, or House or Senate Republicans. The funds of these PACs are used to work toward growing the respective caucus’ membership numbers through candidate recruitment, training, and support in elections.

 

Legislative Leadership PACs: The speaker of the House of Representatives, majority leader of the House of Representatives, president pro tempore of the Senate, and majority leader of the Senate may each establish a single legislative leadership PAC, while the minority leader of the House of Representatives and the minority leader of the Senate may each establish two legislative leadership PAC. Similar to Caucus PACs, legislative leaders use their personal Leadership PACs to conduct activities to grow their numbers. Use of these entities can be a way for leaders to gain influence or support among their colleagues.

 

Legislative Leadership and Legislative Caucus committees may only contribute to and make expenditures benefiting legislative candidates. Candidates participating in the Citizens’ Election Program may not accept contributions from one of these legislative political committees, though these committees may still make organization expenditures on behalf of such candidates.

 

Contributions and Limitations: Registered lobbyists are limited in the amount of their contributions to these PACs. One may only contribute $100 dollars per calendar year to Legislative Caucus or Legislative Leadership PACs. Lobbyists are also limited in the period of time in which contributions are permitted. Lobbyists are restricted from contributing during the course of the regular session, or also during any special session, to prevent any impropriety or perception of impropriety. Legislative Caucus or Legislative Leadership PACs can also hold events and publish advertisement books where corporations can purchase ad space in order to support the PAC. The maximum limit is $250 per calendar year for each PAC.

 

If you have any questions about Legislative Caucus or Legislative Leadership PACs, please contact Paddi LeShane at pleshane@ctlobby.com – we’re more than happy to help you navigate the do’s and don’ts of political fundraising in Connecticut.

 

*Source: http://www.ct.gov/seec

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