When it comes to political elections in the U.S., it’s safe to say, “cash rules everything around me.” You definitely need hella dollar bills to win.
In 2016, those running for federal offices spent around 6.8 billion dollars trying to get their candidates elected. Wondering where all that money came from? Well, it’s a mix between small and large individual donors and political action committees (PACs).
As the midterm elections approach us, it’s important to know who's funding our elections, and which PACs are working to get Black candidates in office.
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But first, what is a PAC?
PACs are political organizations that focus on finding and providing funding to political campaigns. They can be used to either support or go against a ballot initiative or a candidate. For example, if there is a ballot initiative that a PAC does not want to win on election day, they can use money to support an opposing initiative or run ads that go against the ballot initiative. This same approach can be used for electoral races.
OK, so how do PACs get their funding?
PACs are funded by individual donations. PACs often host private events where donors can pay to get access to a candidate or other powerful political players. With the ruling of Citizen United in 2010, the Supreme Court expanded what qualifies to be considered an “individual.” This expansion has allowed corporations to have more of a financial influence in our political campaigns.
After President Trump was elected into office in 2016, we’ve seen more political organizations with a focused on electing Black candidates into office. And with the 2018 midterm election less than two months away, the rules are clear — if we want Black candidates in office, then we need political groups that are going to fund and support them.
Here is a list of PACs that doing just that:
Founded in 2016 by Quentin James and Stefanie Brown James, The Collective PAC is “working to fix the challenge of African American underrepresentation in elected seats of power throughout our nation.”
These are some of the candidates listed on their site:
Founded by Glynda Carr and Kimberly Peeler-Allen in 2014, Higher Heights for America PAC is “galvanizing the collective political power of our members to help elect more Black women to public office at all levels.”
These are the Black candidates they are claiming to endorse:
Founded by Akunna Cook in 2018, this new PAC was formed by Black executives across the country that shared an interest in “improving economic areas in work, wages and wealth.” Co-founder and CEO of Blavity Morgan DeBaun is on the advisory board.
The candidates that BE Alliance have identified that they have endorsed on their site are:
Color Of Change PAC is the political action arm of Color of Change organization. It was founded by Arisha Michelle-Hatch and Rashad Robinson, the spokesperson for the PAC, in 2016. Color of Change PAC focuses on “building independent Black political power, amplifying Black voices, electing candidates who share our values and holding them accountable to our communities.”
These are some of the candidates that they have endorsed:
These are just a few of the PACs working toward getting Black candidates elected. So if you're planning on voting this election cycle, find out which PACs are supporting the candidates and ballot initiatives you care about in your state.