Super-PACs: So easy, a college student can do it

Super-PACs are formally titled independent expenditure-only committees, and came after a string of Supreme Court decisions beginning with Citizens United v FEC. These groups can raise and spend unlimited funds as long as they do not coordinate with a candidate or party.

The group started the super-PAC, Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Yesterday, for a class project. The class is titled “Congressional Gridlock” and focuses on what causes gridlock in Congress and our political system.

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Jones and her two group members are yet another super-PAC “riding the wallet tails” of comedian Stephen Colbert — they said Colbert inspired their project idea to become a super-PAC.

Colbert’s super-PAC, Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow, has raised more than $1 million since its creation last year and publicity through Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report."

“We want to highlight how simple it is for any American for better or for worse to express their own views and put money into the political process,” Jones said. “And it’s important to take a look at how money affects the political races.”

But Jones is not even the youngest of the more than 320 super-PAC treasurers. High-school senior Damian Palmer beats her for that badge as the treasurer of the Damian C. Palmer and Jack C. Pilgrim for a Better America Super PAC.

Palmer’s super-PAC only took an hour to create, he previously told The Hill, and he joked with friends that it was something he could mention on college applications.

The Duke University students plan to raise money for their super-PAC, starting on a more grassroots level by receiving donations from classmates. The group “intend[s] to use our money or power for good,” Jones explained.

Even as Jones joked about Colbert’s political action committee and discussed her class project, she told The Hill she knows that super-PACs are no joke.

“With great power comes great responsibility and in the United States, money is power,” Jones said.