News Releases, Media Advisories

FEC Seal Linking to FEC.GOV

For Immediate Release
August 21, 2001


Kelly Huff
Ron Harris
Ian Stirton




WASHINGTON -- The number of federally registered political action committees (PACs) decreased from 3,907 on January 1, 2001, to 3,877 by July 1, according to a semi-annual survey by the Federal Election Commission.

Corporate PACs remain the largest category, with 1,525 committees, followed by non-connected - 1,007, trade/membership/health - 872, labor - 314, corporations without stock - 118, and cooperatives - 41.

PACs sponsored by corporations and labor organizations are technically referred to as "separate segregated funds" and must register within 10 days of being established. Non-connected PACs (those which are not connected to or sponsored by a corporation or labor organization, and which are not related to a candidate's campaign or to a political party organization) must register within 10 days after certain financial activity exceeds $1,000 during a calendar year.

Registration does not necessarily imply financial activity. Many PACs report making no contributions to candidates or independent expenditures on behalf of or against candidates. Financial information on PACs will be included in future FEC news releases.

The following chart details the number of PACs in existence since the end of 1974.




Footnotes for Chart:

*For 1974-76, these numbers represent all other further categorization is available.

1 On November 24, 1975, the Commission issued Advisory Opinion 1975-23 "SUNPAC".

2 On May 11, 1976, Federal Election Campaign Act Amendments of 1976 (P.L. 94-283) were enacted.

3 During the first six months of 1997, 227 PACs were administratively terminated because of inactivity.