(NewsGlobal.com)- A Wisconsin Democrat running in the primary to challenge Republican Ron Johnson has been raking in thousands of dollars in corporate PAC money despite pledging not to accept donations from corporate PACs.
In other words, he’s a typical Democrat.
Michigan’s current Lieutenant Governor, Democrat Mandela Barnes, claimed in early April that he hadn’t accepted “one dime” in corporate PAC money, which is technically true. He didn’t accept a dime; he accepted about $15,000.
Barnes has raked in cash from “leadership” PACs that are funded in large part by major US corporations like Boeing, Pfizer, and Lockheed Martin to name a few, thanks in large part to a campaign finance loophole that lets Barnes benefit from corporate cash while claiming he’s rejecting it.
In the first quarter of 2022, Barnes accepted money from five leadership PACs that get their money from corporate funding.
Barnes can technically claim he isn’t accepting corporate PAC money because the corporate PAC money isn’t going directly from corporations like Exxon or Raytheon into Barnes’ campaign. It is first getting laundered through other leadership PACs run by groups like the Congressional Black Caucus that then sends the cash to Barnes.
See how it works?
This allows Mandela Barnes to claim Republican Senator Ron Johnson is beholden to corporate interests while Barnes is a grassroots-supported candidate who is as pure as the wind-driven snow.
This is a common practice. Most politicians who vow not to accept corporate cash are pulling the same thing. They refuse direct donations from corporate PACs, but happily rake in money from “leadership” PACs run by other politicians or political groups that do take money from corporate PACs.
But even with corporate cash getting laundered through “leadership” PACs, Barnes is lagging behind his Democrat primary challengers in campaign donations. In the first quarter, Barnes raised $1.7 million, while his two primary opponents have raised more. Alex Lasry raised $3.9 million and Sarah Godlewski has raised $2.1 million.
Incumbent Republican Senator Johnson, meanwhile, has raised $5.9 million.