Sorry if this has already been addressed:
If I understand correctly, US corporations can make unlimited independent expenditures on US elections after Citizens United v. FEC. Again if I understand correctly, large corporate donations to super PACs require disclosure, unless a hard-to-get exception applies. If that's the case, what is the point of super PACs now?
My first thought would be that Goods Corporation doesn't want to run its own internal political operation while Services.com runs its own operation, etc., but then why don't they just get together and make a "normal" corporation/nonprofit that they both donate to, especially a 501(c)(4) or a media outlet?
Possible explanations I found/concocted:
- I thought this was a useful reference, but without further context I don't think it answered my question. On that page it says that "Dark Money" groups, by which I think they mean 501(c)(4)s, cannot have political activity as the majority of their expenditures. But even if that's right, I'm not sure how serious this constraint is. I can elaborate on why I have this doubt if asked.
- Maybe regulators see it as disingenuous for a non-super PAC nonprofit/corporation to be too political, so donors prefer super PACS in order not to draw regulator anger? I have no evidence for this.
Related speculative questions: Why don't Goods Corporation and Services.com just both give to the Townsville Post and print their views as news? Would that lose some tax benefits? Would that be an antitrust violation if they weren't careful? What if they bought their own newspaper? Are there rules about coordination between super PACs and their donors?