Our friends at the Congressional Black Caucus are used to the finer things in life.
Maybe that’s why their political action committee spends so lavishly. Upscale resorts, fancy catering, Broadway tickets, dinner at expensive restaurants and lots and lots of fundraising.
But that’s almost all they do, an analysis by the Washington Free Beacon revealed.
The CBC PAC – which is the fundraising arm of the CBC – puts much more money toward these lavish administrative costs and fundraising expenses than actually donating to candidates – which is the main purpose of a political action committee.
Officially, the CBC PAC’s mission is to increase “the number of African Americans in the U.S. Congress and to “support non-Black candidates that champion our interests, and promote African American participation in the political process-with an emphasis on young voters.”
But the investigation revealed that the PAC spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in the 2016 election cycle on lavish trips that were paid for by the committee.
A $5,000 payment was made in January 2016 from the PAC to the Buccaneer Hotel located in St. Croix, Virgin Islands, one of the “world’s top 50 tropical resorts.”
Later, on March 21, 2016, the PAC made another payment to a resort in the Virgin Islands. This time, the money went towards a stay at the “one-of-a-kind” Renaissance St. Croix Carambola Beach Resort and Spa also located in St. Croix. The Renaissance is situated “among the foothills of a lush tropical rainforest and only steps away from the pristine sands of Estate Davis Bay.”
The PAC spent $820 on taxicabs while in the Virgin Islands. More than $2,000 was spent at Sweeny’s St. Croix Tours in the town of Christiansted, considered “the most beautiful town in the West Indies.” Sweeny’s provides an open-air bus for its guests as they embark on safari tours of the island. More than $4,500 was also spent by the PAC on catering at Un Amore, an Italian restaurant.
By far, the group’s largest expenses were made in New York and Washington D.C. The bill at the luxurious Conrad Hotel in New York City ran to $40,000. The St. Regis in Washington was paid more than $18,000.
The group paid for hotels all across the country, the investigation shows. It also paid almost $30,000 for “fundraising event tickets” to a mass media corporation in San Antonio, IHeartMedia.
And about the people? Benjamin Branch, who provides the group’s administrative and managerial consulting services, was paid almost $177,000 for his time.
All told, the group spent $283,100 toward administrative costs, $127,000 toward fundraising and only $91,000 was sent to federal candidates running for office.