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Politics

Mike Levin: The Hypocrisy of Corporate PAC Donations Exposed

In spite of ‘Ban Corporate PACs Act,’ Levin’s Second Quarter Financial Records Raise Eyebrows.

In the past couple of years, numerous members of congress have attempted to publicly distance themselves from the influence of large corporations, vowing to abstain from accepting money from corporate PACs. However, this facade crumbles when scrutinized, as recent records reveal. Notably, second quarter financial documents show Representative Mike Levin (D-CA) pocketing considerable contributions from entities funded by large corporations.

Despite co-sponsoring the Ban Corporate PACs Act in 2021 and 2022 — a proposal aiming to prevent “for-profit corporations from establishing or operating a separate segregated political fund” — Levin and other Democratic counterparts known for criticizing corporate PACs have ironically benefitted from such funds. Between April and June, these Democrats received tens of thousands of dollars in campaign donations from corporate-backed leadership committees and in some instances, the corporations themselves, according to Federal Election Commission filings.

“I don’t object to the ban, but corporate money gets into these campaigns anyway through other vehicles — if not directly from corporate PACs,” lamented Craig Holman, a government affairs lobbyist for Public Citizen.

A significant target of criticism in this hypocrisy is Rep. Mike Levin. During the second quarter of 2023, Levin accepted over $20,000 from 13 corporate-backed leadership committees, those associated with Reps. Eric Swalwell (D-CA), Gerry Connolly (D-VA), and Sara Jacobs (D-CA), for instance.

One such contributor was Rep. Suzan Delbene’s (D-WA) Evergreen PAC. After a $2,500 donation to Levin’s campaign in 2022, it added another $3,000 in June 2023. Evergreen PAC has a history of receiving contributions from several corporations such as Comcast, T-Mobile, Visa, Microsoft, and CVS. Moreover, Levin’s campaign also took $1,000 in June from Shore PAC, affiliated with Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-NJ), and backed by PACs for AT&T, CVS, and Amazon.

Such financial dealings seem starkly contradictory to Levin’s previous assertion in May 2022: “Since I started running for Congress, I haven’t taken a dime in corporate PAC money,” he tweeted. “I’m proud to have cosponsored the Ban Corporate PACs Act, which would stop corporate PACs altogether.”

Despite the glaring contradiction between his words and actions, Levin has yet to provide any response or explanation. His campaign, along with those of Golden, Pappas, Hayes, and Magaziner, did not return requests for comment, leaving the public in the dark about this contentious issue.

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