The midterm election is over, and billions of dollars were spent. That means campaign spenders deserve a break, right?
How dare you suggest such a thing; the 2016 presidential election is less than two years away! It basically starts now! Super PACs were literally started years ago to raise money and hype for people who haven't even said they are running for president yet continues unabated.
However, campaign finance does get a bit of respite in the form of the bizarre and under-appreciated PACs that flourish in electoral winter. Here is an appreciation of some of the stranger-named or destined-to-be-ignored PACs and committees that have appeared since Election Day.
We have tried to report out some details on each of them, with varying levels of success.
This PAC Has Nothing to Do With Taylor Swift
All we know is that it has nothing to do with Taylor Swift. At all. The PAC is run in part by the "Archduke of the Nothing to Do With Taylor Swift PAC," according to the FEC paperwork filed by This PAC has Nothing to Do With Taylor Swift.
The Archduke is a high school senior from Minnesota named Sam Butterfass (I'm a history buff," says Butterfass. "I always wanted to be an Archduke), who decided to create the PAC with his friend Maddie Conte. They are taking government right now, and decided to test the system after watching Stephen Colbert's campaign finance coverage in class. They did not file the paperwork for credit -- they only told their teacher about it an hour before talking to the Post. "I'm not even a legal adult, and could do this," says Conte. "It took us longer to build the Web site."
Here is what the This PAC has Nothing to Do with Taylor Swift's Web site had to say about This PAC has Nothing to Do With Taylor Swift.
Their "About" page is a picture of a cat.
How did they come up with the name?
"We just really love Taylor Swift," says Conte. "You have to listen to her new album." (After I told them I had listened to it, they told me it didn't count unless I got the special edition album from Target, which includes their favorite song, "New Romantics.")
Conte and Butterfass were briefly worried on the phone that they might get in trouble with the FEC if Swift decided to run in 2016, but realized that they have ten years before they have to worry about that happening, seeing as she was born in 1989.
We do not know whether having nothing to do with Taylor Swift precludes the PAC from being a nightmare wrapped in a daydream.
Committee to Elect Charles P. Andrews III
While everyone is salivating over when Hillary Clinton or Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) will finally announce they are running for president, there are plenty of candidates who are already filing paperwork and starting their campaigns. If Clinton and Co. don't hurry up, the country may have already been charmed, for example, by Charles P. Andrews III — or "Skip" — and they will be woefully behind.
Not only has Skip filed with the FEC; he also has a Web site.
It has quizzes.
It has inspirational quotes.
According to his Amazon author page, "Skip is a hopeless romantic: the good guys always win good triumphs over evil and truth will always rise victorious over lies, deceit and error. He believes in love at first sight, that true love never dies and of course love conquers all."
Sounds like presidential timbre to us.
The Willy Wrappers
This super PAC says on its committee registration that it "intends to bring safe sex awareness to college campuses across the United States." The PAC's treasurer also appears to be a college student from Shippensburg, Pa. Curiously, another PAC with an equally odd name -- Americans Against Impersonators -- was registered the same day from Pennsylvania from a dorm at Shippensburg University.
We tried to contact the treasurer of Willy Wrappers to see if the college town is suddenly a hotbed of fundraising, or whether this is just a joke. We haven't heard back, so we're going to assume that the fate of the 2016 election will be masterminded from a dorm room in Pennsyltucky.
Pot the Vote
This seems self-explanatory.
Other PAC names include, "Americans for a Better Yesterday" and "GatorPAC." After the 2012 election, gems like "Anti-Super PAC," "We Be Packin," "I'm a Good Dog PAC," "PAC Your Bong," "Middle of the PAC," and "Bipartisanship Is Good PAC" were formed. It would be unwise to question to potential impact of these new PACs given how indelible an impression these previous committees made on political history.
Also, you can blame Ham Rove for this.
This post has been updated.