Objecting to the way members of the all-Democratic Congressional Black Congress has been “conflating the black struggle for civil rights with the demands of radical homosexuals for marriage and other special rights,” Jackson announced the STAND America PAC in April, 2010. He vowed to “demand that representatives of the black community start respecting the values of the people who elect them,” noting that the PAC would make sure that happens.
Since its formation, the PAC has reported raising about $130,000, all from individual donors. Of this, just $2,750 went to conservative African American candidates — about two percent of total spending. $1,000 of that went to Michel Faulkner (R), who unsuccessfully challenged Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) in 2010. The remaining $1,750 went to Jackson’s own unsuccessful 2012 campaign for U.S. Senate in Virginia. The committee also made a $1,000 donation to the 2012 re-election campaign of House Republican Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), who is white. While one solicitation asked for contributions to help defeat then-Attorney General Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) in his Senate campaign, the committee reported no contributions to his Republican opponent nor any apparent independent efforts in that race.
The vast majority of the PAC’s funds went to overhead — fundraising, strategic consulting, and overhead. More than $20,000 of the PAC’s spending, over 15 percent, was paid in “consulting – management” fees to Jackson himself. While using a PAC for personal inurement is not illegal, it is hardly the purpose for which the contributions are apparently solicited.
Other spending went to travel and meals (about $7,500), other consultants (more than $53,000), and bank fees (more than $700, including four account “overdraft” charges). The PAC also made donations to 912 First Landing Patriots and the Hampton Roads Tea Party (two Virginia Tea Party groups) and the Christian Coalition and Vision America (two Christian conservative organizations).
While new PACs do face significant upfront costs, the percentage spent on political activity is unusually low and the group appears to spending little on the group’s stated mission. Campaign finance expert Paul S. Ryan of the Campaign Legal Center frequently warns — when donating to political action committees it is really “donor beware.”
Neither STAND America PAC nor the Jackson for Lt. Governor campaign responded immediately to a request for comment.