The Federal Election Commission says the number of registered political action committees has gone up 1.5% in the last six months as of 1/1/08. The actual number has increased from 4,168 on 7/1/07 to 4,234. The number of active PACs has been within the 3.8K-4.2K range for the past 20 years, according to the FEC, putting the current total on the high end. The last time the spike was greater was 7/1/05, when a high water market of 4,291 was set. That number was a bit of a mirage, however — within the next six months, FEC expunged 189 organizations from the list due to inactivity.
The categorical breakdown is as follows: corporate (1,601); non-connected (1,300); trade/membership/health (925); labor (273); corporations without stock (97); and cooperative (38).