Yesterday The Washington Free Beacon posted an article about the spending habits of The Congressional Black Caucus PAC (CBC PAC). It seems that the CBC PAC, whose purpose it is to raise money for potential candidates, spends more money on itself than it gives to candidates.
The article reports:
The CBC PAC claims its mission is to increase “the number of African Americans in the U.S. Congress” and to “support non-Black candidates that champion our interests, and promote African American participation in the political process-with an emphasis on young voters,” according to its website.
The PAC spent hundreds of thousands throughout the 2016 election cycle on administrative expenses that included bills for lavish trips that were paid by the committee.
Later, on March 21, 2016, the PAC made another payment to a resort in the Virgin Islands. This time, the money went towards a stay at the “one-of-a-kind” Renaissance St. Croix Carambola Beach Resort and Spa also located in St. Croix. The Renaissance is situated “among the foothills of a lush tropical rainforest and only steps away from the pristine sands of Estate Davis Bay.”
The PAC spent $820 on taxicabs while in the Virgin Islands. More than $2,000 was spent at Sweeny’s St. Croix Tours in the town of Christiansted, considered “the most beautiful town in the West Indies.” Sweeny’s provides an open-air bus for its guests as they embark on safari tours of the island. More than $4,500 was also spent by the PAC on catering at Un Amore, an Italian restaurant.
The group’s largest expenses were made in New York and Washington, D.C.
The article notes a number of expenditures on various luxury hotels and spas in New York City and California.
The article concludes:
Benjamin Branch, who provides administrative and managerial consulting services to the PAC, pocketed nearly $177,000 from the group.
The committee put $283,100 total towards administrative expenses while $127,000 went towards fundraising purposes. The PAC contributed just $91,000 to federal candidates, according to overall data of the PAC from the Center for Responsive Politics.
The CBC PAC did not respond to requests for comment on its expenditures by press time.
I wonder how many well-meaning people who might not have a lot of extra money donated to this PAC. While I don’t necessarily have the same goals as the CBC PAC, they do have a right to exist and to put forward their agenda. However, if I were a donor, I think I would give any money I had directly to the candidates I supported. The questionable priorities in their spending habits may be perfectly legal, but they are definitely not doing all that they should to advance their cause. It would be interesting to know if this sort of behavior was also found in other PACs.