“The Young Turks” host Cenk Uygur is so intent on keeping money out of politics his own PAC spends virtually all its donor money on personnel and operating expenses.
Wolf PAC, founded by Uygur, is dedicated to banning corporations from giving directly or indirectly to politicians and limiting campaign contributions to no more than $100 from any person.
According to Open Secrets, a website that draws data from Federal Exchange Commission filings, in 2012, Wolf PAC gave a total of $2,000 in contributions to committees. In 2014, that number dropped to just $1,138. There have been no contributions to committees listed for 2016 up to this point.
In 2014, Wolf PAC sent $24,000 to its California state-level account and $48,500 in 2016.
Even assuming in 2014 every last cent of the $24,000 was spent on political expenditures, it would only amount to 8 percent of total expenditures. Assuming in 2016 every last cent of the $48,500 was spent on political expenditures, it would only amount to 13 percent of total expenditures.
For comparison, over a two-year period, political expenditures at Club for Growth comprised about 94 percent of total expenditures, independent journalist Matt Forney noted. Operating costs amounted to 5.4 percent of its budget.
Despite taking in hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations, Wolf PAC has opted to spend most on operating expenses, particularly employee expenses.
So far in 2016, the PAC has spent $221,187 on salaries, wages and benefits. The PAC also spent $38,906 on administrative travel and lodging. The PAC spent $20,576 on administrative data and technology, $26,916 on fundraising, $1,045 on Internet ads and $2,942 on unclassified printing and shipping.
Wolf PAC otherwise showed no independent political expenditures in 2010, 2012, 2014 or 2016. In those same years, Wolf PAC brought in $350, $71,102, $253,626 and $395,478, respectively. In 2016, the PAC spent $427,129 in total.
Uygur filed paperwork to create the PAC back in June, 2010, during the storm created by the Supreme Court case Citizens United v. FEC, in which the court ruled neither corporations nor unions can be barred from independent political expenditures.
For Uygur, this ruling was clearly unacceptable, and he vowed to use Wolf PAC to support a constitutional convention with the goal of adding an amendment to the Constitution by going through state legislators, stating, “Corporations are not people. They have none of the constitutional rights of human beings. Corporations are not allowed to give money to any politician, directly or indirectly. No politician can raise over $100 from any person or entity. All elections must be publicly financed.”
Uygur often implores his viewers to donate to the PAC. His most recent call came on June 2 in a video pushing the need for a constitutional amendment.
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