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Setting Up and Operating a Corporate PAC and Understanding Super PACs: What You Need to Know Before the 2016 Elections

(377 reviews)

Produced on April 06, 2016

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$ 89 Election, Campaign, & Political Law In Stock
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Course Information

Time 91 minutes
Difficulty Advanced

Course Description

This program has two components: first, a top-to-bottom explanation of traditional political action committees (or PACs), the role they play in the political process, and the rules that govern how they are operated; and then a discussion of the relatively new independent-expenditure only PACs (or Super PACs as they are called) and how they can be used to support or oppose candidates.


This program, presented by Ronald Jacobs, the chair of Venable’s political law group and editor of the Political Law Briefing Blog, will help corporations, nonprofits, and trade associations understand how they can create and operate a PAC to support political candidates at the federal and state level. You will learn how to solicit contributions without violating the rules on coercion, how to structure PAC governance, and how to handle PAC disclosure requirements.


After examining PACs, the program switches to discuss Super PACs. It begins by explaining the difference between contributions and expenditures, and how individuals, nonprofits, and corporations may make unlimited contributions to Super PAC to support or oppose candidates. Super PACs must remain independent of the candidates they support, and this program will discuss what it means to impermissibly “coordinate” with a candidate, and what interactions are permissible. Finally, learn how states are at the forefront of forcing Super PACs to disclose individuals behind the contributors to Super PACs.


Learning Objectives:

I.     Grasp how a corporate PAC can be used to make contributions to candidates at the federal and state level

II.    Discover how to set up and operate a corporate PAC

III.   Understand who may be solicited to make contributions to a PAC and the restrictions on how to solicit

IV.   Comprehend how a Super PAC is different from a traditional PAC

V.    Recognize coordination restrictions on the interaction between Super PACs and candidates

Credit Information

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Ronald Jacobs

Venable LLP

Ronald Jacobs, a partner in Venable’s Washington D.C. office serves as chair of Venable’s Political Law Group. He advises clients on all aspects of state and federal political law, including campaign finance, lobbying disclosure, gift and ethics rules, pay-to-play laws, and tax implications of political activities. Mr. Jacobs assists clients with crises response to government investigations and enforcement actions, Congressional investigations, class-action law suits, and other high-profile problems that involve potentially damaging legal and public-relations matters. Along with Lawrence Norton, he co-edits the firm’s Political Law Briefing blog.

Mr. Jacobs understands the often-contradictory rules imposed by the different laws that apply to political activities. He offers practical advice that considers not only the legal requirements, but also the reputational risk, of political activity to a broad range of clients, including large and small companies, trade associations, charities, campaigns, Super PACs, ideological groups, individuals, and political vendors. He has developed political compliance programs for Fortune 500 companies and other clients that lobby and make political contributions nationwide.

In addition to counseling clients on political law matters, Mr. Jacobs has extensive experience in the administrative rulemaking process and in litigating challenges to agency decisions in federal court. He has represented clients in administrative matters before the Federal Election Commission, the Merit Systems Protection Board, the Federal Trade Commission, the United States Congress, and in federal court.



Some of Mr. Jacobs’s significant matters have included:

  • Obtaining an advisory opinion from the Federal Election Commission to allow an association to launch a novel new online fundraising platform to support candidates.
  • Serving as general counsel to a successful 2014 candidate for the United States Senate.
  • Representing a Super PAC that supported a candidate in the 2012 presidential primary, creating one of the first Super PACs active in a Los Angeles mayor's race and one of the first Super PACs active in a local Maryland election, as well as representing Super PACs active in Congressional elections.
  • Creating a 501(c)(4) that engaged in issue advocacy and candidate activities connection with the 2012 presidential general election.
  • Obtaining approval from Senate Ethics Committee for major nationally-televised charitable event held during the Holiday Season in Washington.
  • Developing pay-to-play compliance policy and procedures for a large hedge fund that actively solicits state contributions and for a hospitality company that serves state and local governments.
  • Successfully defending a large, nationally-known trade association during a Congressional investigation into allegations of fraudulent grassroots lobbying activity.
  • Assisting a large social welfare organization with multiple Congressional investigations and several class action lawsuits.
  • Serving as outside pro bono counsel to Warrior Canine Connection, a charity that assists soldiers suffering from traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder to train service dogs for physically wounded soldiers.


Clarence S.

Excellent presentation of difficult and complex area of law.

Katherine D.

Very well done...thank you.

Amy K.

Very informative and interesting.

George N.

Very informative and well done!

Carlos A.

Great succinct summary of PACs and Citizen's United decision.

Dennis B.

solid presentation.

Steve S.

It was interesting

Kirk L.


Louis D.

Very informative!

Layne D.

This is a lot of material to cover and I will likely need to revisit this seminar in order to digest it all better.

kiran H.

Ronald was really amazing, he kept my attention for the entire session.

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