Banning Leadership PACs
S.200 would eliminate language in the state code which currently allows legislators to operate leadership PACs (political action committees). Leadership PACs are PACs that are “directly or indirectly established, financed, maintained, or controlled by a candidate or public official or any other entity maintained by or affiliated with a candidate or public official”. Leadership PACs allow public officials to fundraise outside their own campaigns and donate this money to other candidates and public officials. This practice enables select officials to accumulate a large degree of influence over their co-workers. The House and Senate currently both prohibit leadership PACs by rule, removing code language permitting the practice would further solidify the stance both chambers have taken.
S.200 presents a sensible change to South Carolina law, but it falls short of full reform by failing to prohibit candidates from accepting contributions from political parties or legislative caucus committees. Powerful public officials would still be able to use these vehicles like they previously used leadership PACs.