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For Immediate Release                                                                               Contact: Bob Biersack
January 17, 2008                                                                                                     George Smaragdis
                                                                                                                              Michelle Ryan

FEC Records Slight Increase in the Number of PACs

WASHINGTON --The number of federally registered political action committees (PACs) increased by 1.5% from 4,168 on July 1, 2007, to 4,234 by January 1, 2008 according to a semi-annual survey released by the Federal Election Commission (FEC/Commission).

For more than 20 years the number of active PACs has remained relatively constant at about 3,800 to 4,200 organizations. New committees continue to register in numbers roughly equal to those who terminate their activity in each cycle. Since January 1, 2007, for example, 370 new PACs registered with the FEC while 319 ended their federal activity and terminated.

Corporate PACs remain the largest category, with 1,601 committees, followed by non-connected – 1,300 trade/membership/health - 925, labor - 273, corporations without stock - 97, and cooperatives - 38.

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.

PAC COUNT- 1974 TO PRESENT
(semi-annual)

DATE Corporate Labor Trade/
Membership/
Health
Non-Connected Cooperative Corp.
Without
Stock
TOTAL
12/31/74 89 201 318*       608
11/24/75 1 139 226 357*       722
05/10/76 2 294 246 452*       992
12/31/76 433 224 489*       1,146
12/31/77 550 234 438 110 8 20 1,360
12/31/78 785 217 453 162 12 24 1,653
08/00/79 885 226 483 206 13 27 1,840
12/31/79 950 240 514 247 17 32 2,000
07/01/80 1,107 255 544 309 23 41 2,279
12/31/80 1,206 297 576 374 42 56 2,551
07/01/81 1,253 303 579 441 38 64 2,678
12/31/81 1,329 318 614 531 41 68 2,901
07/01/82 1,417 350 627 628 45 82 3,149
12/31/82 1,469 380 649 723 47 103 3,371
07/01/83 1,514 379 664 740 50 114 3,461
12/31/83 1,538 378 643 793 51 122 3,525
07/01/84 1,642 381 662 940 53 125 3,803
12/31/84 1,682 394 698 1,053 52 130 4,009
07/01/85 1,687 393 694 1,039 54 133 4,000
12/31/85 1,710 388 695 1,003 54 142 3,992
07/01/86 1,734 386 707 1,063 56 146 4,092
12/31/86 1,744 384 745 1,077 56 151

4,157

07/01/87 1,762 377 795 967 56 152 4,109
12/31/87 1,775 364 865 957 59 145 4,165
07/01/88 1,806 355 766 1,066 60 143 4,196
12/31/88 1,816 354 786 1,115 59 138 4,268
07/01/89 1,802 349 831 1,051 58 143 4,234
12/31/89 1,796 349 777 1,060 59 137 4,178
07/01/90 1,782 346 753 1,115 58 139 4,193
12/31/90 1,795 346 774 1,062 59 136 4,172
07/01/91 1,745 339 749 1,096 57 137 4,123
12/31/91 1,738 338 742 1,083 57 136 4,094
07/01/92 1,731 344 759 1,091 56 144 4,125
12/31/92 1,735 347 770 1,145 56 142 4,195
07/01/93 1,715 338 767 1,011 55 139 4,025
12/31/93 1,789 337 761 1,121 56 146 4,210
07/01/94 1,666 336 777 963 53 138 3,933
12/31/94 1,660 333 792 980 53 136 3,954
07/01/95 1,670 334 804 1,002 43 129 3,982
12/31/95 1,674 334 815 1,020 44 129 4,016
07/01/96 1,645 332 829 1,058 43 126 4,033
12/31/96 1,642 332 838 1,103 41 123 4,079
07/01/97 3 1,602 332 826 953 41 118 3,872
12/31/97 1,597 332 825 931 42 117 3,844
07/01/98 1,565 325 820 897 43 112 3,762
12/31/98 1,567 321 821 935 39 115 3,798
07/01/99 1,540 318 826 941 38 115 3,778
01/01/00 1,548 318 844 972 38 115 3,835
07/01/00 1,523 316 812 902 39 114 3,706
01/01/01 1,545 317 860 1,026 41 118 3,907
07/01/01 1,525 314 872 1,007 41 118 3,877
01/01/02 1,508 316 891 1,019 41 116 3,891
07/01/02 1,514 313 882 1,006 40 110 3,865
01/01/03 1,528 320 975 1,055 39 110 4,027
07/01/03 1,534 320 902 1,040 39 110 3,945
01/01/04 1,538 310 884 999 35 102 3,868
07/01/04 1,555 306 877 1,174 34 97 4,040
01/01/05 1,622 306 900 1,223 34 99 4,184
07/01/05 4 1,646 302 936 1,267 37 103 4,291
01/01/06 1,622 290 925 1,233 37 103 4,210
07/01/06 1,621 283 935 1,233 40 105 4,217
01/01/07 1,582 273 937 1,254 37 100

4,183

07/01/07 1,586 273 926

1,247

37 99 4,168
1/01/08 1,601 273 925 1,300 38 97 4,234

Footnotes for Chart:

*/ For 1974-76, these numbers represent all other PACs...no 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.

4/ During the second six months of 2005, 189 PACs were administratively terminated because of inactivity.

 

 

The Federal Election Commission (FEC) is an independent regulatory agency that administers and enforces federal campaign finance laws. The FEC has jurisdiction over the financing of campaigns for the U.S. House, the U.S. Senate, the Presidency and the Vice Presidency. Established in 1975, the FEC is composed of six Commissioners who are nominated by the President and confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

 

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