Our Massachusetts case could finally end the ability of billionaires to weaponize Super PAC in elections

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    For the past decade, the ultra-wealthy have used Super PACs to funnel billions of dollars into our elections. 

    Across federal elections in 2020, for example, Super PACs spent an astounding $3.4 billion. Nearly 70 percent of this money was provided by just 100 donors. The top 1 percent of donors accounted for approximately 96 percent of Super PAC donations. Just last month, we learned of a single donor making a $1.6 billion (that’s “billion” with a “b”) to a single political action committee!

    Super PACs have created a pathological dependency within our democracy. That dependence is inconsistent with the representative democracy. 

    So long as there are no limits on contributions to Super PACs, our democracy will continue to be unrepresentative.

    Equal Citizens is therefore launching a lawsuit in Massachusetts that will seek to regulate Super PACs for the first time. If successful, we will once again be able to reign in the political influence of the ultra-wealthy.


    Over the summer, the Equal Citizens team worked with FreeSpeechforPeople.org to develop legislative language that would impose limits on contribution to Super PACs. If enacted, the ultra-wealthy would be unable to funnel unlimited sums into Super PACs. 

    We then joined with Equal Citizens supporters in Massachusetts to collect enough signatures to get the legislative language in front of the Massachusetts Attorney General, to see if her office would approve the regulations for a statewide ballot initiative. If the office approved the language, we would wage a major grassroots campaign to get it approved by voters and therefore set a new legislative model for limiting Super PAC influence. If the office rejected it, we were prepared to file a lawsuit in an attempt to get the case before the Supreme Court. In either case, we had a pathway to ending Super PACs.

    The Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General ultimately refused to certify the initiative. The Office concluded the Initiative would “violate the free speech rights afforded by the state constitution.” 

    The AG’s decision was not surprising. Her view is reflected in countless decisions reached by lower courts across the country. But the question has not yet been addressed by the Supreme Court. And we are no developing the strategy to give them the opportunity to resolve this question finally.