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FreshPAC, the well-funded political action committee affiliated with Muriel Bowser, will soon be no more. With Bowser on a trip to China (with two FreshPAC donors), FreshPAC treasurer Ben Soto tells LL the PAC has become a “distraction.”
The end of FreshPAC comes after its ability to raise unlimited funds in 2015 has been opposed by everyone from a majority of the D.C. Council to attorney general Karl Racine to the Washington Post editorial board, which first reported on FreshPAC’s demise.
The PAC and its war chest—at more than $300,000—offered Bowser a powerful way to influence Council elections. Earlier this week, Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh told LL that FreshPAC’s power had caused a change in the Wilson Building’s “psychology.”
“They seem to be gleeful and very pleased with themselves that they’ve come up with this scheme,” Cheh said.
Well, not anymore. In an email to LL, Soto says he’s shutting down the PAC, but disagreed with suggestions that it was a way for donors to win influence with the city.
“I standby my assertion that our donors are people who believe in and wanted to support the Mayor’s agenda,” Soto writes. “I dispute the notion that contributors gave, because they expected something in return or that the Mayor would ever even entertain such thought.”
Photo by Darrow Montgomery