Help identify mystery PACs

Leadership PACs have become all the rage for Congress in recent years. And no wonder.

Fundraising committees formed by politicians to boost other candidates' campaigns, these PACs are considered separate from campaign committees -- and that allows donors to skirt limits on contributions. For example, someone who's already contributed the maximum amount to a politician's campaign committee may still contribute $5,000 per year to his leadership PAC, thereby allowing the donor to boost his or her political clout.

U.S. Rep. Walter Jones, a North Carolina Republican, has filed legislation requiring leadership PACs to disclose who controls them to the Federal Election Commission. But unless and until Jones' bill becomes law, the Center for Responsive Politics is seeking help in identifying who's behind some of the mysterious PACs.

The nonpartisan Washington-based group dedicated to tracking money in federal politics has created a list of some PACs it suspects are affiliated with politicians. Quite a few of them are based in the South.

CRP is asking concerned citizens to look for information about the PACs in the news, on blogs, or on the Web in general. Once you suspect which lawmaker is affiliated with the PAC, call their congressional office and ask them to confirm the link.

For a list of the mystery PACs as well as instructions on how to submit your findings to the Center, click here.

Happy hunting!