News Releases, Media Advisories

For Immediate Release:                                  Contact:  Kelly Huff
January 27, 1998                                                  Ron Harris
                                                                  Sharon Snyder
                                                                  Ian Stirton


WASHINGTON-The number of federally registered political action committees (PACs) decreased slightly since July 1, bringing the total number of registered PACs to 3,844, according to a semiannual survey taken December 31, 1997, by the Federal Election Commission.

Corporate PACs remain the largest category, with 1,597 committees, followed by nonconnected 931, trade/membership/health 825, labor 332, corporations without stock 117, and cooperatives 42.

PACs sponsored by corporations and labor organizations are technically referred to as "separate segregated funds" and must register within 10 days of being established. Nonconnected 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.