Super PACs

It's easy to point at Super PACs as a black-eye on American politics. Billionaires and millionaires uniting in their specific interest to purchase public policy is both business as usual and insanely infuriating and disgusting. But, of course, Super PACs aren't an anomaly as a corrupt device in a system full of perfections. Gerrymandering, voter suppression, and voter fraud (or more accurately the claims of widespread fraud without any actual evidence) are all reminders that our system sucks pretty bad.


But Super PACs are particularly ugly. Remember Elizabeth Warren's Super PAC that she swore she'd never have spent $14 million dollars on Super Tuesday ads even after her campaign was all but dead. And while $14 million dollars is life changing money for nearly every American citizen, it's not an abnormal amount of money for a presidential candidate to spend on an election.


While researching Super PACs on opensecrets.org, I came across a Super PAC called Heroes United. Heroes United took in over 4.5 million dollars in 2017-2018 and they did so on the backs of tens of thousands of Americans. Heroes United only raised $60,000ish dollars on donations of more than $200 yet they raised 4.5 million dollars total. That means Heroes United would've had to have a minimum of 22,000 donors contributing $199 each, which is unlikely. The overall number of Americans who contributed to Heroes United is most likely much, much higher than 22,000.


But see, there's a problem with Heroes United. The amount of money Heroes United spent on federal candidates in the 2018 election cycle? $0. They did, however, expense almost 3.5 million dollars for "fundraising expenditures". The number one beneficiary of that is a company called Market Process Group, taking in well over 2.5 million dollars from Heroes United. So, what is Market Process Group? Here's Reuters:

These PACs, called Scam PACs now by the media, are defrauding millions of Americans every year and they're doing it with nickel and dime sized donations. How are they so successful? Market Process Group is known for their automated calls. But when they call they're not telling you they're Heroes United Super PAC. No, Heroes United Super PAC has two DBAs (doing business as), which allows them to manipulate donors thinking. Heroes United Super PAC is also "Volunteer Firefighter Association" and "Association of Police and Fire".


The reason these Scam PACs have so many small donors and nearly no major donors is because the major donors understand that this is a scam. This is allowed under American campaign finance laws and while Gelvan has never been charged with any wrong doing regarding this situation, the writing is on the wall.


Nearly as infuriating as Scam PACs themselves was this final line from the Reuters piece.

Make sure to understand where and what you're donating before you do it, please.