Most of the Super PACs active during the 2012 cycle spent the bulk of the money they pulled in on their stated purpose—candidate advocacy. But according to a new analysis from Bloomberg, many of the groups spent nearly the entirety of what they took in on “overhead.”
According to the report, Super PACs on average spent just 16 percent of the money they raised on operations. From Bloomberg:"The groups are defined by the FEC as “independent expenditure” committees, yet 167 of them spent everything they raised on overhead and nothing on ads or mailings advocating for candidates, the data show. Two more reports, including one due this week, will tally the rest of this election’s super-PAC spending. Consultants and fundraisers racked up at least $21 million, based on the disbursements clearly labeled as “consulting,” “commission,” “fundraising fees” or “donor development,” the data show.
The FEC has few requirements defining how a super-PAC identifies expenses. The super-PACs that generated the most fundraising often paid consultants and employees six-figure salaries—regardless of how the election turned out for the candidates they supported." While some consultants are still cashing checks, you can’t quite lump all Super PACs together on this. The big three Super PACs in the presidential race spent much less on operating expenses than the vast majority of other outside groups, according to the Bloomberg analysis. The biggest, Restore Our Future, spent $5.3 million of the $101.5 million it raised between January 1 and October 17—a mere 5.2 percent—on operating expenditures.