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Muriel Bowser‘s Green Team political set has some new muscle: a political action committee that, for now, can take unlimited contributions.
WAMU’s Patrick Madden reported yesterday on “FreshPAC,” with the name a play on Bowser’s promise to give the District a post-Vince Gray “Fresh Start.” As of July 31, FreshPAC reported raising more than $140,000, while FreshPAC treasurer Ben Soto tells LL it will have raised roughly $300,000 by the Oct. 10 reporting deadline.
Soto says the PAC’s purpose is “help [Bowser’s] initiatives.” It has some help there from campaign finance law—since FreshPAC won’t support any candidates this year, it can accept contributions with no maximum limit until the end of 2015. If the PAC supports candidates next year, it will be able to take in a still hefty $5,000 maximum in contributions from individuals.
That means that, until New Year’s Day, anyone with deep pockets hoping to win favor with Bowser could give as much as they want to FreshPAC. The war chest should come in handy next year, with Bowser-affiliated candidates up for re-election in Wards 4 and 8 and other incumbents looking for her support.
The PAC’s leadership is stocked with Bowser and Adrian Fenty affiliates. Along with Soto, Fenty pal Chico Horton chairs the PAC, while go-to Green Team lawyer Thorn Pozen is the PAC’s counsel. Bowser, who is able to do work on behalf of the PAC as long as they aren’t supporting her own campaigns, has appeared at two FreshPAC fundraisers.
FreshPAC has already started spending. In July, the PAC spent $33,000 on polling and mailing lists.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery