PAC basics


The term "political action committee" (PAC) refers to two distinct types of political committees registered with the Federal Election Commission (FEC): separate segregated funds (SSFs) and nonconnected committees. PACs allow eligible employees to participate in the political process. By pooling their voluntary contributions through the PAC, employees support federal and state candidates who are identified by Cardinal Health PAC. The PAC is the funding mechanism for a candidate’s campaign. A fully funded candidate is at the heart of every successful election. Candidates can use their own money to fund their campaigns or must rely on contributions from their party, individuals, or PACs.

Separate segregated funds (SSFs) Nonconnected committees
  • Political committees established and administered by corporations, labor unions, membership organizations or trade associations
  • Can only solicit contributions from individuals associated with connected or sponsoring organization
  • Are not sponsored by or connected to any entities and are free to solicit contributions from the general public
  • Cardinal Health has a connected PAC


Super PACs vs. PACs

Super PACs PACs
  • Undertake independent expenditures, typically spending money in order to elect one particular candidate or party - often in the form of radio or television ads
  • Are not allowed to coordinate with candidates or parties when partaking in such activities 
  • Can accept unlimited contributions from corporations, individuals, unions and other organizations
  • Generally contributes to a variety of candidates. The primary goal is to fund candidates for office who understand their business and industry, and who are supportive of the organization’s mission and goals 
  • Are not banned from coordinating with candidates and parties; they are allowed to communicate with those who are receiving their contributions. This is essential to many corporations as it gives them the opportunity to educate current or potential legislators about their organization and the issues their industry and company are facing
  • Contributions are subject to limits imposed by the Federal Election Commission (FEC). They cannot accept contributions from corporations and may only accept contributions of up to $5,000 per year from individuals who are part of a restricted class as defined by the FEC


Regulations, reporting, and contributions


PACs are transparent and regulated by the FEC. Contributions received and money spent must be reported and is available to the public. PACs may give each candidate or candidate committee up to $5,000 per election and $15,000 to national party committees per calendar year.

Federal law limits participation to U.S. nationals (U.S. citizens and green card holders) and requires Political Action Committees to make their best efforts to collect and report the name, mailing address, occupation and employer of individuals whose contributions exceed $200 per calendar year. Contributions may not exceed $5,000 per calendar year. Additionally, federal law limits participation to "restricted" employees who in most circumstances are salaried employees exempt under Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).