Randy Black answers John Heelan's question about AIPAC "I
am happy to pass along a bit of news about the lawsuits against the AIPAC since
the 1980s over their PAC activities. What is AIPAC? A nationwide network of
local political action committeesgenerally named after the region their
donors come fromsupplies much of the pro-Israel money in American politics.
Additional funds also come from individuals who bundle contributions to candidates
favored by the PACs. The donors' unified goal is to build stronger U.S.-Israel
relations and to support Israel in its ongoing negotiations (and armed conflicts)
with its Arab neighbors. AIPAC, the country’s most powerful pro-Israel
political group, does not give campaign contributions but does spend more than
$1 million annually on lobbying. Note: Democrat Tom Daschle was the largest
beneficiary of that group’s efforts back in the 1980s. In the 1990s, Bill
Clinton and former California Governor Gray Davis were huge beneficiaries of
As near as I can tell, AIPAC is a clearing house for PAC donations and nothing more".
RH: From everything I have read, it is much more than that. Randy does not answer John Heelan's question: "Further research suggests that the primary pro-Israel lobby (AIPAC) has managed to avoid having to report figures to the Federal Election Committee (FEC).Perhaps somebody could tell me if that still is the case, as it might explain an anomaly".
Regarding AIPAC, I said:". Randy Black does not answer John Heelan's question: "Further research suggests that the primary pro-Israel lobby (AIPAC) has managed to avoid having to report figures to the Federal Election Committee (FEC).Perhaps somebody couldtell me if that still is the case, as it might explain an anomaly". John now comments: "Curious as to why it is difficult to get a grip on the total pro-Israel political donations, I came across the following explanation:
"Over a generation, this magazine has compiled a list of some 128 pro-Israel political action committees. This has not been easy. Most of them have been established by officers of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee to get around the limitations AIPAC, as a single PAC, would face in donating to a candidate. If one PAC can give only $10,000 to a candidate, 50 like-minded PACs can give half a million dollars. And usually there are at least 50 pro-Israel PACs active in every election cycle. Interestingly, where most PACs have descriptive names so that donors can discern what they are supporting, the PACs established by AIPAC officers have non-descriptive names, making no reference to the Middle East, Israel, Zionism or Judaism. Among them are Badger PAC of Wisconsin, Beaver PAC of New York, Desert Caucus of Arizona, Garden PAC of New Jersey, Southpac of South Carolina, Gold Coast PAC of Florida, Elections Committee of the County of Orange in Southern California, Americans for Better Citizenship of New York, Citizens Concerned for the National Interest of Illinois, San Franciscans for Good Government, Hollywood Womenâ€™s Political Committee, Tennesseans for Better Government and even the wildly misleading Walters Construction Management Political Committee (Colorado). You get the idea."
Even discounting that the magazine is devotedly anti-Israel, the substance
of the report, if true, perhaps gives a clue why it is difficult to calculate
the total pro-Israeli donations to US politics. My question is "How true
is the report?"
This report from Randy Black shows how twisted is the financing of US elections and political causes: "I studied the Federal Election Comission (FEC) website and, according to the various laws, the AIPAC is not required to file reports with the FEC. Interestingly, George Soros’ Moveon.org shows that the billionaire has donated about $9 million to the Democratic effort to defeat Bush since January.
Your answer as to why the AIPAC is not required to report to the FEC is on page 13 of the document I have linked below:
The AIPAC does not make contributions to candidates. Despite its name, the
AIPAC means The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, not Political Action
(Abridged from 1992 and 1997 court cases); Previously, the FEC has found that political action committees, commonly known as PACs, raise funds to distribute to political candidates. The FEC, in response to a complaint filed in the early 1990s, found that AIPAC spent money in an effort to influence congressional elections. But the FEC also ruled that this was not AIPAC's "major purpose," he said, meaning that the pro-Israel lobby did not have to register as a political action committee. On appeal, a lower district court upheld the FEC ruling, as did a three-judge panel at the federal appeals court. The plaintiffs then appealed to the full panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. AIPAC's future hinges in part on whether the FEC rules that it is a membership organization (which it has done). Federal law grants wide latitude for such groups to raise money and to communicate with members on political matters and candidates' positions. Different laws, however, apply to PACs. PACs are restricted in the amount of money that they raise from individuals and in the amount they spend on a particular candidate. For AIPAC, the answer is clear. "We're entitled to communicate anything we want to our members. We're a membership organization, pure and simple," said Philip Friedman, AIPAC's general counsel. "If I'm wrong on this and we're not a membership organization, then the FEC decision would impact every organization, every union, every do-gooder that meets with a candidate and tells their members and their friends" what the candidate said and what their positions are.
Sources include: http://www.jewishaz.com/jewishnews/961213/aipac.html
RH: If the electoral law impedes the political activities of Soros and AIPAC,
they get around it. The whole electoral and political process stinks of money.
Discussing the Jewish organization AIPAC, John Heelan quoted from http://www.inminds.co.uk/boycott-news-0010.html]. Randy Black protested "The site is anti-West, anti-UN, anti virtually anything not Islamic". John replies: "I agree with Randy on the negative jihadist nature of the website. However, that said, I would appreciate some reassurance that the comment it makes about AIPAC disguising PAC political donations is completely untrue before dismissing it as propaganda".
Ronald Hilton -