I tend to be surprised that discussions of Dark Money and PAC money don’t garner more outrage. I think this is one of those things where people need to understand how dots connect and how their lives are affected.
Here is my story.
Denton, where I live, has the worst air quality in Texas. It is rated an F by the American Lung association.
Our town passed a fracking ban in 2014. Just before the ban passed, our state rep who was up for re-election got thousands of dollars in donations from Oil and Gas PACs/Companies/CEO’s. Immediately afterward, our state rep, voted to overturn this ban.*
Denton, where I live, has the worst air quality in Texas. It is rated an F by the American Lung association. My son has asthma. So, our air be dangerous for him. When my son got sick, we spent thousands of dollars above our already high priced insurance premiums.
The current Repubican US Rep has taken millions from Big Pharma/Healthcare/Insurance and, after securing these millions, he has continually voted to strip away the regulations that keep us safe. Last summer, he voted against protecting preexisting conditions.
The actions of our reps affect everyday people. My dots connect easily.
PAC money paid my state rep to poison our air. PAC money paid my US Rep to oppose healthcare reform and protections for preexisting condition.
My child got sick from poison air. To keep him alive, we have to pay thousands.
Another example you may have heard of:
In 2016, the DOJ, under the Obama Administration announced plans to end contracts with For Profit Prisons. In 2016, For Profit Prisons donated $1.6 million to GOP candidates. Two of the largest for profit prison companies donated over $500K to Trumps Inauguration and campaign. 2017 Trump reversed the DOJ position and in 2018 $3B in funds was diverted to pay private prisons to lock up detained migrants.
Our government is overflowing with these examples.
This is why I support the measures of the Disclose Act, (which will die in the Senate and need to be reintroduced), these regulations require PACs to disclose donors and close loopholes allowing shell donors to keep their sources anonymous. For Super PACs that advertise, the Disclose Act extends electioneering windows and mandates reporting of who is paying for ads.
I will work to limit the abuses of “Leadership PACs.” These are politicians personal PACs. They are essentially slush funds used to fund expenses that are ineligible to be paid by campaign committees or congressional offices. A good example is PETE PAC, the PAC associated with former REP and current district shopper/hopper Pete Sessions. Pete Sessions was named as the beneficiary of $3M in campaign donations from Russians who violated campaign finance rules and pushed for the ouster of, Ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch. Before you get lost connecting dots, PETE PAC was a donor to TX-26 Incumbent Michael Burgess.
Dark Money and PAC money subvert democracy.
I am running to protect the families of our district. I am running to keep people who abuse campaign finance from selling us out to the highest bidder.
I am running for the people.
It is personal.
* In the interest of fairness, the donations were not the only consideration. Crownover was herself a part owner of Robinson Drilling.