In an ingenious effort to shed light on how political action committees hide the sources of campaign contributions, a blogger has launched his own PAC that offers ways to hide the sources of campaign contributions, reports the Washington Post.
A University of Alabama student applied to set up DanPAC, a political action committee whose stated purpose is "to filter funds from controversial or unpopular groups to other PACs and candidates for the purpose of hiding the actual source of a candidate's campaign money from voters."
The idea behind the PAC is to spotlight the practice of PAC-to-PAC transfers, a perfectly legal way to launder political fundraising.
"It's not going to matter to the people in office," he said. "They won't notice it. But it's something to start a conversation. It brings more light on it," said Dan Roberts, an engineering major at the University of Alabama who runs the blog Between the Links
These PAC-to-PAC transfers are often used by political candidates to hide the sources of their campaign donations. Lobbyists and political candidates often use PAC-to-PAC transfers to conceal the sources of potentially problematic donations to candidates' campaigns.
Proposals over the years to ban PAC-to-PAC transfers have passed in the Alabama House of Representatives but died in the state Senate. Roberts intends to donate any money raised to primary or general election challengers to Democrats who voted against bringing the bill up for consideration in the Senate.
"We've never had a PAC that's been formed that's so clearly stated this is what it's doing," he said. "There are PACs where it's alleged they are conduits for money, which is why PAC-to-PAC proposals come up every year. But we've never had something like this," said Ed Packard, who works in the Elections Division of the Secretary of State's office.