CBS News: Zombie super PACs: What happens to all that cash?


"There are no constraints beyond the ban on giving to candidates and political parties," said Paul Ryan of the Campaign Legal Center. "A single individual could set up a super PAC and use every penny she raises to pay herself a salary."

That means the leaders of the organization could legally cash out, buy a yacht, name it The SS Thank You FEC and sail off into the political sunset. Really. The only federal entity that might possibly come after them, Ryan says, is the IRS. ...

You have serious political professionals who are closely associated with serious candidate's campaigns, and they have a real profession incentive to not abuse the good will of their donors," Ryan said. ...

Part of the problem, Ryan said, is that the circuit court case that lead to the creation of these groups never contemplated that they would be tied only to individual candidates:

"The folks who invented super PACS through court litigation were never asked the question what happens when a candidate drops out because they weren't supposed to be supporting a specific candidate. They were nominally to be supporting multiple candidates."

It's an issue, he said, that isn't likely to be resolved any time soon --even as the the field continues to winnow. And with no set path to guide these groups through the post-candidacy graveyard, the ranks of the zombie super PAC are only likely to grow.

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