Bill introduced to clamp down on “scam PACs” that defraud donors

Last week, Reps. Katie Porter (D-CA) and Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) introduced a bill to begin cracking down on so-called “scam PACs.” These political action committees mislead their donors by falsely claiming to support a campaign, cause, or charity while spending little if any of their money for its stated purpose — instead using it to enrich the political operatives behind the PACs. 

“This is a welcome first step in preventing scam PACs from stealing money from unsuspecting Americans looking to engage on political issues important to them,” said Issue One Executive Director Meredith McGehee. 

The phenomenon has seen a sharp increase in recent years, with several cases involving fraudulent support for veterans’ and other causes receiving media attention and provoking outrage from across the political spectrum. 

However, until now, there has been little legislative progress on combating these misleading groups. And though operatives have been punished for scam PAC activity before, the groups continue to proliferate without an outright ban on this behavior.

The Porter-Crenshaw bill, H.R.6854, acts to “amend the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 to prohibit the misrepresentation of actions on behalf of candidates for purposes of soliciting contributions or donations,” allowing the Federal Election Commission to promulgate rules to prohibit and punish scam PACs, authority the commission has previously sought but says it lacks under current law. 

Issue One looks forward to working with Reps. Porter and Crenshaw to get the best bill possible passed.