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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Tampa teens may be youngest to create super PAC: Young Americans for Rational Politics



On the day after high school graduation, while their classmates were at the beach, the movies or the mall, three teenagers met at Starbucks to finalize the bylaws for their new super PAC.

"Okay, have you looked through all this?" chairman Alex Iannacio asked his friends and fellow officers, pulling a packet of legal documents from his leather briefcase.

Vice chair Alex Hitchcock nodded and flipped open his laptop.

Wesley Merritt, who had just been named assistant treasurer, shook his head. "Not yet."

Until a couple of weeks ago, Merritt thought the whole thing was a joke. Sure, let's form a super PAC. Why not? Of course, he had told his buddies at Tampa Prep, you start that political action committee and I'll be on the board. "I never thought they were serious," Merritt said.

Then, on a Sunday in mid May, Iannacio asked the guys to meet him at their favorite spot, the Starbucks on Bay to Bay Boulevard. He ordered an iced coffee, sat down and said, "Guess what?"

He showed them emails from the Federal Election Commission, a letter from the IRS, a listing on the Huffington Post's chart of new super PACs. There they were: Young Americans for Rational Politics.

"It's official. We did it," Iannacio said. His buddies blinked at him.

"Remember that last time you wanted me to come play Monopoly and I couldn't?" he asked Merritt. "It's because I was on the phone with the FEC!"

They believe they are the youngest people ever to form a super PAC. Iannacio filed the papers the day he became eligible — his 18th birthday.

Now, just days after cleaning out their high school lockers, the three teenagers are political power brokers, free to raise money and use it to bend the American electoral process to their will.

Story here.

[Last modified: Sunday, June 10, 2012 11:26am]


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