Campaign Finance

Transparency or Deception? How Rejecting PAC Contributions Affects Contribution Patterns

A growing trend among Congressional and presidential candidates is to reject campaign contributions from corporate Political Action Committees (PACs). Although positioned as an effort to increase democratic transparency, researchers have yet to examine how these pledges affect contribution patterns. Using data on Democratic candidates in the 2018 Congressional election, I find that although pledging to reject corporate PAC contributions is associated with decreases in contributions from ideological, labor, and business PACs, taking the pledge is also associated with increases in contributions from political PACs and individuals.