Filings Show Some Dems Took Corporate PAC Money After Vowing Not To


Some Democratic congressional candidates broke their promise not to accept donations from corporate PACs, according to Federal Election Commission filings.

Approximately 56 congressional candidates vowed not to accept corporate political action committee money, the campaign finance website reported Thursday.

The gesture of candidates foregoing corporate PAC dollars may be viewed as more symbolic than anything due to the low dollar thresholds and tight regulations governing corporate PACs, according to Institute for Free Speech research fellow Joseph Albanese in 2018.

Corporate PACs do not receive money from the actual corporations they represent. The money comes from its employees. A pledge not to accept corporate PAC money is not the same as a pledge not to take money from businesses themselves or from super PACs.

The majority of the candidates tracked by OpenSecrets, which the nonprofit Center for Responsive Politics runs, did not take any donations from corporate PACs, according to first quarter FEC filings. Researches noted 10 exceptions:

  • Democratic Iowa Rep. Cindy Axne accepted $2,500 from the dairy cooperative Land O’Lakes PAC.
  • Democratic Massachusetts Rep. Lori Trahan accepted $1,500 from the Food Marketing Institute and $1,000 from the law firm Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough.
  • Democratic Arizona Rep. Raul Grijalva received $1,500 from the law firm Foley & Lardner LLP PAC, and he also received money from the National Indian Gaming Association.
  • Democratic Wisconsin Rep. Mark Pocan received $2,000 from the law firm Foley & Lardner LLP PAC.
  • Democratic Pennsylvania Rep. Susan Wild accepted $1,000 from the law firm K&L Gates LLP and $5,000 from the American Hospital Association.
  • Democratic Reps. Mike Levin of California, David Cicilline of Rhode Island and Lucy McBath of Georgia also received contributions from law firms.
  • Democratic New Jersey Rep. Andy Kim received $5,000 from the American Hospital Association.
  • Democratic California Rep. T.J. Cox received $23,500 from 11 business PACs, including the National Association of Realtors PAC.

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