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How many PACs do we need to take our country back?

By J.B. Williams
web posted February 8, 2010

According to hundreds of folks setting up PACs so fast that they will soon outnumber McDonald's burger stands, we only need one… theirs!

But the fact is, the American people do not need even one single PAC in order to take their country back and the sooner the people figure that out, the better!

Palin, Gingrich, Romney, Army, and hundreds of Tea Party and 912 groups have their own Political Action Committees, and dozens more are popping up across the country every week. Why?

PACs have been around since 1944, when the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) formed the first one to raise money for the re-election of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, funded by labor unions.

PACs are formed for the purpose of raising and spending money to elect and defeat candidates. Most PACs represent business, labor or ideological interests. PACs can give $5,000 to a candidate committee per election (primary, general or special). They can also give up to $15,000 annually to any national party committee, and $5,000 annually to any other PAC. (Note how they can give $15,000 to the RNC or DNC, but only $5000 to any other group…) Guess who wrote those laws?

During the 2008 election cycle, only four of the Top 20 PACs in the country tilted slightly to the Republican side. The other sixteen were heavily slanted towards the DNC.

As the RNC squandered its power on left-leaning appeasements throughout the 90's and into the 21st century, the RNC lost its base supporters and its ability to raise money at the national level in order to remain competitive with the DNC in national races.

As a result, many Republican-leaning PACs have emerged as a means of raising money outside of the RNC, no longer able to raise enough funds itself. Today, nobody knows for certain which PACs exist solely for that purpose, and which PACs exist to challenge the RNC of old, forcing the GOP leadership to return to its conservative platform.

Other PACs are set up to benefit those in control of the PAC. In politics, money is power and many who have felt powerless in the past see having their own PAC as a means to gain political power. Worst of all is the privately held for-profit corporation. I'm all about capitalism and free markets. I just don't think that patriotism should be a for-profit venture. Turning a profit on the volunteer labor of others is just plain wrong…

Still, PACs are popping up so fast now that nobody has the time to fully investigate the real agenda of these PACs and all of them are targeting Tea Partiers, 912ers and Town Hall goers in an effort to harness the financial power found in millions of angry voters not willing to give money to the RNC or DNC anymore.

In the end, the only safe bet is to avoid giving money to any PAC. It's not necessary, and it is indeed dangerous. You have no way of knowing what you are really supporting and no control if you don't like how your money is being used.

If the people fund individual candidates on their own, there is no real need for a PAC, at least not in terms of supporting candidates who represent the will of the people doing the funding.

Taking our country back has nothing to do with funding PACs. In fact, in too many cases today, PACs are used against the people funding them, just like the Republican and Democrat Committees are. Sarah Palin has her own PAC now and those who love Sarah's celebrity persona are happy to give money to SarahPAC. Will they be as happy when their money helps re-elect John McCain, whom most patriots see as a turncoat?

Some will individually donate to McCain's challenger, and at the same time, to McCain's campaign through SarahPAC. Every union employee gives to Democrats whether they want to or not, even though nearly half of all union employees vote Republican… And there is the problem with donating to PACs…

When it comes to funding campaigns, it is best to fund those campaigns directly, rather than through a PAC. It is the only way to know who and what you are really supporting with your hard earned money.

The recent election of Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown proves that the people can get the job done on their own. A few PACs gave money to that effort, but the vast majority of the funds that carried Brown to victory came from private individual donors. That's as it should be all of the time. When the people want to get something done, that's how you do it!

527 organizations are a little different however.

As the Center for Responsive Politics points out, "Don't just blame political candidates for all the glossy flyers cluttering your mailbox, for the in-your-face television and radio advertisements and calls at home that interrupt your dinner. Chances are, much of that electioneering is being paid for by one of an untold number of advocacy groups."

527 organizations cannot instruct you to vote for or against a specific candidate, but often they will try to shape your opinion of a political candidate or party in the context of a specific issue. Political attack ads are often based on issues and how a candidate or party is on the right or wrong side of that issue.

Think of these groups as issue driven ad agencies. Ads cost money and if an issue is important to you or significant in a particular race, then you can and should support that advertizing by supporting the 527 group working that issue.

Then there is the non-profit or not-for-profit 501 organization.

  • 501(c)3s cannot in any way support or oppose anyone running for public office, though they may be involved in political campaigns by way of non-partisan public forums, voter registration drives, etc. Donations to 501(c)3s are deductible to the full extent of the law.
  • 501(c)4s can engage in political campaign activity, so long as this is consistent with the organization's purpose and is not the organization's primary activity. Donations to 501(c)4s that are public entities (ie, state, local governments, volunteer fire stations) are deductible if they are used for public services. Donations to other 501(c)4s are not deductible. (Once again, guess who made those laws?)

If you want to join forces with like-minded people who have the same goals of returning our nation to greatness while protecting and preserving freedom and liberty for future generations, find 501 non-profit organizations to get behind, because this is where you will likely find the right people motivated by things bigger than their own ego, profit or power.

Then follow these five simple rules…

  • Are they real and not just a front for something else?
  • Are they focused on my goals?
  • Are they organized or disorganized?
  • Are they focused only on specific tangible strategies rather than fantasies?
  • Are they building a country or just an organization?

Organized efforts will defeat disorganized efforts every time, and we all understand the strength in numbers. But I see way too much exploitation of the patriot movement going on out there, and way too much wasted motion as well.

To be sure, Americans are awake, aware and engaged now. That's a long way from where we were as a nation just a year ago.

The last step is to unite on common ground, through specific tangible strategies that are well organized by people in it for something much bigger than themselves.

Some will try to profit, or gain personal influence on the backs of others. They will fall by the wayside as their true colors shine through.

There will always be people who want to "go it alone" and thank God they live in a country where they are still free to do just that. It's like watching wild mustangs though… They're fun to watch in the wild, but don't try to round them up or they will kick the barn down. At the end of the day, they're only fun to look at…

At the end of the day, the price of freedom has always been paid by the few folks willing to set petty egos aside and unite in the common cause of freedom and liberty for all. And so it shall be again! Sooner or later, the people will unite in an organized strategy to protect and preserve freedom.

In the end, they will have no other choice. I just hope that they don't wait until then… ESR

© 2010 J.B. Williams

 

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