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Top 10 Political Action Committees

2006 Election

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The role of political parties in campaign finance was curtailed by a 2002 law and US Supreme Court ruling. Political Action Committees (PACs) began in 1944. They raise "hard" money for the express purpose of defeating or electing candidates. There are limits on how much money an individual can contribute to a PAC and on how much a PAC can contribute to a candidate or a party. PACs must register with the Federal Election Commission. More.

1. National Association of Realtors

Logo, National  Association of Realers PAC
Logo: National Association of Realtors
According to OpenSecrets, the NAR PAC spent $3,752,005 in the 2006 campaign: 49% to Democrats and 51% to Republicans. They raised $1,716,960 in contributions of $200 or more.

The Realtors Political Action Committee (RPAC) is one of the largest trade association PACs, dating to 1943. Issues of interest range from accessibility to wireless 411 directory.

2. National Beer Wholesalers Association

Logo, NBWA PAC
Logo: National Beer Wholesalers Association
According to OpenSecrets, the National Beer Wholesalers Association PAC spent $2,946,500 in the 2006 campaign: 31% went to Democrats and 69% to Republicans. They raised $2,962,965 in contributions of $200 or more.

From the Association website: The NBWA PAC is the largest in the licensed beverage industry and was ranked 12th on the Political Finance list of Top 100 PACs in the 2001-2002. The NBWA PAC uses its resources to help elect and re-elect pro-beer distributor, pro-small business candidates.

3. National Association of Home Builders

Logo, National Association of Home Builders
Logo: National Association of Home Builders
According to OpenSecrets, the National Association of Home Builders PAC spent $2,900,500 in the 2006 campaign: 26% went to Democrats and 72% to Republicans. They raised $3,526,927 in contributions of $200 or more.

The mission and the benefits of BUILD-PAC are protected behind a member-only firewall.

4. National Auto Dealers Association

Logo, NADA
Logo: National Auto Dealers Association
According to OpenSecrets, the National Auto Dealers Association PAC spent $2,821,600 in the 2006 campaign: 30% went to Democrats and 70% to Republicans. They raised $4,055,439 in contributions of $200 or more.

There is nothing about the PAC on the association website.

5. International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers

Logo, IBEW
Logo: International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
According to OpenSecrets, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers PAC spent $2,784,625 in the 2006 campaign: 97% went to Democrats and 3% to Republicans. They raised $8,287 in contributions of $200 or more.

There is nothing about the PAC on the union website.

6. International Union of Operating Engineers

Logo, IUOE
Logo: Operating Engineers Union
According to OpenSecrets, the International Union of Operating Engineers PAC spent $2,271,980 in the 2006 campaign: 75% went to Democrats and 24% to Republicans. They raised $178,248 in contributions of $200 or more.

There is nothing about the PAC on the union website.

7. American Bankers Association

Logo, ABA
Logo: American Bankers Association
According to OpenSecrets, the American Bankers Association PAC spent $2,642,564 in the 2006 campaign: 35% went to Democrats and 64% to Republicans. They raised $295,068 in contributions of $200 or more.

BankPac is the industry's largest political action committee.

8. Laborers International Union of North America

Laborers Union Logo
Logo: Laborers Union
According to OpenSecrets, the Laborers Union PAC spent $2,317,500 in the 2006 campaign: 84% went to Democrats and 15% to Republicans. They raised $27,360 in contributions of $200 or more.

There is nothing about the PAC on the union website.

9. American Association for Justice

American Association for Justice logo
Logo: American Association for Justice
According to OpenSecrets, the American Association for Justice PAC spent $2,558,000 in the 2006 campaign: 96% went to Democrats and 3% to Republicans. They raised $1,973,659 in contributions of $200 or more.

AAJ PAC information is behind member-only firewall.

10. Credit Union National Association

Credit Union National Association Logo
Logo: Credit Union National Association
According to OpenSecrets, the Credit Union National Association PAC spent $2,391,318 in the 2006 campaign: 45% went to Democrats and 54% to Republicans. They raised $262,786 in contributions of $200 or more.

CULAC is the 6th largest PAC among trade associations by contributions to federal candidates; for 2005-2005, credit union members made over 42,000 individual contributions of more than $3.78 million.

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