New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Other Early Primary States Prone to Super PAC Activity

Big Money Spending in Iowa Caucus Leads to Meteoric Fall of a Candidate

WASHINGTON, DC – Super PAC spending played a significant role in changing the dynamic of electoral politics in Iowa, as one Super PAC pumped millions of dollars into attack ads aimed at former front-runner Newt Gingrich. In a single month, the former House Speaker falling from first to fourth place in the polls proves the dangerous power that Super PACs wield in the wake of the US Supreme Court’s 2010 ruling in Citizens United v. FEC.

According to an NBC News-Marist poll, at the beginning of December, Newt Gingrich was the GOP front-runner in Iowa, with 26% of likely voters.  However, after the Super PAC, Restore Our Future, spent $2.8 million on negative ads attacking Gingrich in Iowa, Gingrich’s Iowa support was cut in half to 13% percent by the end of the month, contributing to Gingrich’s lackluster fourth place finish in this week’s Iowa caucuses.

“By spending millions and millions of dollars without any form of accountability, Super PACs are now capable of completely changing the dynamic of our elections, shifting even more power to a wealthy elite and away from the voting public,” said John Bonifaz, director of Free Speech For People. “The GOP campaigns in Iowa present a clear example of the damage done by Super PACs, and they further demonstrate how important it is to overturn the Citizens United ruling and restore democracy to the people.”

“Who is funding these Super-PACs?” adds Bonifaz.  “Who decides to “take out” a candidate and for what reasons? In the Citizens United world we all live in now, we’re not allowed to know.  All we can do is look ahead to New Hampshire and wonder how a few more million dollars worth of negative ads will effect the field.”

The Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling in Citizens United v. FEC swept away a century of precedent barring corporate political expenditures and unleashed a torrent of corporate spending in US elections.  The rulingapplied the doctrine of corporate constitutional rights, a doctrine which corporations have used in recent years to strike down various federal and state laws designed to protect the public interest.  Free Speech For People is a national non-partisan campaign, launched on the day of the Citizens United ruling, to press for a 28th Amendment to the US Constitution to overturn the decision and make clear that people, not corporations, govern in America.


For more information on Free Speech for People and the People’s Rights Amendment, visit