Super PACs: Transparency Meets Political Gridlock

By: Robert M. Portman and Peggy Tighe

More than a year after the Federal Election Commission promised to issue rules governing how Super PACs must disclose their funding sources, the world is still waiting. Meanwhile, the debate over the influence of the controversial new advocacy groups shows no sign of cooling off.

The establishment and conduct of Super PACs following the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Citizens United have led to nearly as much controversy as the decision itself. Calls for transparency and disclosure have cascaded in the media and among political partisans. With a Federal Election Commission (FEC) notice of proposed rulemaking regarding reporting and disclosure rules for Super PACs still pending more than a year after the deadline for comments has come and gone, and with public analysis and criticism ebbing and flowing, calls for Super PAC transparency are likely to continue to be frustrated by postelection political gridlock....