Politics

When it comes to Super PACs, one south Floridan is the man

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Josue Larose has formed more than 60 Super PACs, 25 percent of all the Super PACs formed in the United States since last year. (Photo from Larose's campaign for governor website.)

These days, forming a Super PAC is about as easy as putting on a pair of pants.

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Since 2010's Supreme Court ruling, Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission, 240 Political Action Committees have been formed, including one founded by TV comedian Stephen Colbert.

But no one has formed more Super PACs than Florida resident Josue Larose — a mysterious self-described millionaire and economist. Larose has formed PACs such as Bloomingdale's Department Store Customers Super PAC, the NFL Sport Players Super PAC, the Dick Cheney for a Better America Super PAC and the Bill Clinton for a Better America Super PAC. But no one knows why he's done. it.

ProPublica reporter Kim Barker has been looking into Larose, a man well-known to politicians and officials in South Florida.

"We're not quite sure what he's doing with them," Barker said. "Some people have the theory he's trying to get as many of these names sewn up ... so you'd have to go through him."

The idea would be like owning a domain name on the Internet, owning Super PAC names could be valuable some day.

Creating a Super PAC is easy and relatively painless. Just announce that you're creating a Super PAC, send notice to the FEC and fill out the forms and then you have a Super PAC.

Barker said Larose, with these Super PACs, can raise unlimited amounts of money from any body, any corporation or any union, and then spend unlimited money on whatever, mainly ads.

"That's what these Super PACs do," she said.

This isn't Larose's first foray into politics. In fact, he's run for governor of Florida as a write-in candidate. He's also formed more than 300 traditional PACs

"At one point, Mr. Larose had formed more than 40 political parties," Barker said. "He actually forced a special election in a state senate race that cost a county $300,000 to put on. After that, the state changed the law so that no one person could lead more than one political party at a time."