Super PACs don't have the best reputation. Here's our take on the issue, and what we're doing to turn the tide.The tl;dr
Frankly, a lot. However, there are steps we're going to take to hold ourselves accountable to our donors and the public.
Super PACs exist because of Citizens United v. FEC, a landmark Supreme Court case that ruled that individuals, corporations, and other private organizations could spend as much as they'd like to advocate for or against a candidate in an election, as long as they don't coordinate with or give money directly to a campaign.
The big problem with this ruling, in our view, isn't necessarily that it lets individuals contribute as much as they want—think of a Super PACs as you and a group of your friends who get together and pool your money to buy a TV ad supporting a candidate or cause you're really passionate about. That's free speech—you should be allowed to do that! This doesn't break politics because all of this has to happen with public disclosure. If you contribute more than $200 to a Super PAC, they're obligated to list your name and how much you contributed on their regular reports.
And that's where things start to get hairy. Recall that corporations can donate directly to Super PACs. This opens the doors for shell corporations to allow individuals to anonymously funnel unlimited funds into political speech. Individuals need not stand by the statements they make with their money.
Take, for instance, a hypothetical coal tycoon billionaire who funnels millions into PACs that lobby issues and candidates favorable to their financial interests. Those millions of dollars should be public record so journalists and concerned citizens can point out that those ads are funded by someone who has a financial interest in the issue. However, the only thing that would be reported in this case is the name of the corporation they set up to anonymize their contributions, making it very difficult to track down the origin of the money. This sort of thing happens all the time.
This is a flawed system.
YouPAC won't accept any money from corporations, closing this loophole. Every dollar we receive will be contributed by individuals and properly disclosed as such. In addition, we believe our money is your money—quite literally. You should get to know exactly what your dollars are doing. We'll put all of our financial records and ad history in one easy-to-access spot, and work to make exploration of the data as fluid and user-friendly as possible. Along with mandatory regular reports to the FEC, we'll produce plainly written reports to our donors letting you know what we're up to and where we're headed.