Hayward Comments on GOP PAC Spending

Professor Allison Hayward, former chief of staff and counsel to a Republican commissioner on the Federal Election Commission, echoed concerns about Virginia-based political action committee Republicans for Choice (RFC) and its spending practices.

A recent analysis by the Center for Public Integrity of RFC's political giving indicates that a very small percentage of the organization's spending has actually gone toward its stated goals, while the PAC's founder, Ann Stone, has received significant portions of the fund's money via her consulting companies and other forms of payment.

Hayward told the Center that while some PACs allocate funding to issues rather than candidates, "the PAC seems to be an extension of Ann Stone," with the bulk of RFCs money going to Stone, its founder, chairman, treasurer, and sole officer.

The Money Pit, The Atlantic Online, January 6, 2010. By Aaron Mehta and Josh Israel.

"Since post-Watergate campaign finance laws limiting individual contributions went into effect in the mid-1970s, more and more interest groups have created PACs. These committees allow individual contributors to band together, magnifying their impact and getting candidates elected who share their viewpoints. According to the FEC, the number of registered PACs grew from 608 in 1974 to more than 5,200 during the 2007-08 election cycle. In the last election, these thousands of PACs combined to distribute more than $412 million to federal candidates. But there are few rules and no accepted norms for PAC spending. As Paul S. Ryan, program director and legal counsel at the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center, notes, donating to PACs is a 'contributor beware' proposition."