political action committee
PAC PAC (p[a^]k), n. [Acronynm from Political Action Committee.] (Politics) A {political action committee}, a committee formed by an organization or special-interest group to raise money to support candidates for office or to influence legislation. A PAC provides a legal means for corporations in the U. S. to support political candidates even when direct contributions from corporations to candidates is forbidden by law. In theory, the corporation may not itself contribute to a PAC, but may pay the expenses of raising money from individuals. PACs may also be formed by organizations other than commercial corporations, such as trade associations. [Acronym, U. S.]

Note: PACs became popular in the 1970's after campaign finance reform laws put limits on the amount of money which an individual can contribute to each candidate for public office. In addition to simply supporting candidates with specific viewpoints, the unstated purpose of PACs is to make politicians aware of their viewpoints, by aggregating sums of money into significant single donations. This latter effect has aroused criticism of PACs from reformers who feel that large donations bias the political process. [PJC]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • political action committee — A group not endorsed by a candidate or political party but organized to engage in political election activities, especially the raising and spending of money for campaigning. Some political action committees (PACs) are organized solely to help… …   Law dictionary

  • Political Action Committee — Pour les articles homonymes, voir PAC. Aux États Unis, un political action committee ou PAC (comité d action politique), est le nom communément utilisé pour désigner, indépendamment de sa taille, une organisation privée dont le but est d aider ou …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Political action committee — Pour les articles homonymes, voir PAC. Aux États Unis, un political action committee ou PAC (comité d action politique), est le nom communément utilisé pour désigner, indépendamment de sa taille, une organisation privée dont le but est d aider ou …   Wikipédia en Français

  • political action committee — ➔ committee * * * political action committee UK US noun [C] ► POLITICS PAC(Cf. ↑PAC) …   Financial and business terms

  • political action committee — n. an organization representing the interests of a corporation, labor union, trade association, etc. that solicits and collects political campaign contributions from individuals and distributes them to particular candidates * * * (abbr PAC) n (in …   Universalium

  • political action committee — n. an organization representing the interests of a corporation, labor union, trade association, etc. that solicits and collects political campaign contributions from individuals and distributes them to particular candidates …   English World dictionary

  • Political action committee — In the United States, a political action committee, or PAC, is the name commonly given to a private group, regardless of size, organized to elect political candidates or to advance the outcome of a political issue or legislation.[1] Legally, what …   Wikipedia

  • political action committee — noun committee formed by a special interest group to raise money for their favorite political candidates • Syn: ↑PAC • Hypernyms: ↑committee, ↑commission * * * noun, pl ⋯ tees [count] US : a group that is formed to give money to the political… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Political Action Committee — Ein Political Action Committee (PAC) ist in den USA die Bezeichnung für eine Lobbygruppe, die sich darauf konzentriert, Abgeordnete oder Wahlbeamte der Regierung zu unterstützen oder zu bekämpfen. Die PACs unterliegen dabei bestimmten… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • political action committee — PAC, group that promotes its political interests by contributing to political campaigns and/or candidates in order to win favor (U.S. Politics) …   English contemporary dictionary

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