Black Lives Matter PAC Spent Most Of Its Money In 2023 Paying Its Own Treasurer For ‘Consulting’

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Robert Schmad Contributor
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A political action committee (PAC) affiliated with the nation’s primary Black Lives Matter organization spent the majority of its 2023 expenditures paying a consulting firm owned by the PAC’s treasurer, Federal Election Commission (FEC) records show.

Black Lives Matter PAC paid $90,000 to Bowers Consulting Firm in 2023 for “strategic consulting services,” according to FEC disbursement filings. Shalomyah Bowers is both the treasurer of Black Lives Matter PAC and the founding president of Bowers Consulting Firm.

Super PAC treasurers, like Bowers, have the legal authority to authorize expenditures on behalf of a political committee, according to the FEC. (RELATED: BLM Co-Founder Patrisse Cullors Has Funneled Business To Company Run By Father Of Her Only Child, Records Show)

Bowers Consulting Firm received about 61% of the $146,679 Black Lives Matter PAC spent in 2023, according to FEC filings. The rest of the PAC’s 2023 spending, save for approximately $10,000 spent on advertisements, went toward administrative expenses like legal fees, compliance services, payment processing fees and bank expenses.

Black Lives Matter PAC claims that donations to the organization “will help us elect progressive community leaders, activists and working-class candidates fighting for Black liberation,” according to its ActBlue donation page.

While Black Lives Matter PAC tells potential donors that their funds will go toward electing left-wing candidates, the committee’s filings told a different story in 2023.

Black Lives Matter PAC reported spending $0 on independent expenditures supporting or opposing candidates and $0 on transfers to candidates or other committees in 2023, according to FEC records.

“The narrative that evaluates BLM PAC’s effectiveness solely through direct political contributions and expenditures is misguided,” Black Lives Matter PAC told the DCNF.

“In 2023, we took a deliberate approach, focusing on building a long-term strategy, bolstering our digital communication, and broadening our audience—essential efforts that extend beyond conventional financial disclosures,” they continued. The PAC explained that its payments to the consultancy were oriented toward achieving these goals.

After a year of sending money to its treasurer’s consulting firm, Black Lives Matter PAC was left with just $3,575 in cash on hand at the end of 2023.

“The fact that BLM PAC funneled almost $100,000 back to their leader, all while spending nothing to support or oppose candidates, shows they are nothing more than a scam PAC,” Americans for Public Trust Executive Director Caitlin Sutherland told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

“This is the latest example of self-enrichment from a network already facing a litany of complaints about their murky finances.”

The PAC took in $134,328 in donations during 2023, according to FEC records.

“Behind the scenes at BLM PAC, we manage everything from emails and text campaigns to strategic planning, ensuring smooth operations at every turn,” Bowers Consulting explained to the DCNF. The firm told the DCNF that it had been pivotal in Black Lives Matter PAC’s past political efforts.

The firm called its relationship with Black Lives Matter PAC a “shared dream of justice for Black communities” and said that compensation for its services “is set at competitive market rate.”

2023 was not the first year Black Lives Matter PAC paid Bowers’ consulting firm.

Between 2021 and 2022, the PAC sent $135,600 to its treasurer’s consultancy, FEC records show.

Protesters hold a Black Lives Matter flag as they march for Patrick Lyoya, a Black man who was fatally shot by a police officer, in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan, April 16, 2022. - One of four videos from the April 4 incident shows the officer lying on the back of 26-year-old Black man Patrick Lyoya as the two scuffled after a traffic stop and then appearing to shoot him in the head. (Photo by MUSTAFA HUSSAIN and Mustafa Hussain / AFP) (

Protesters hold a Black Lives Matter flag (Photo by MUSTAFA HUSSAIN/AFP via Getty Images)

Craig Holman, a government affairs lobbyist at the nonpartisan consumer advocacy organization Public Citizen, told the DCNF that committees frequently pay businesses owned by their officers and that the practice is usually legal.

While the practice is legal, Holman said that “such expenses raise serious ethical concerns.”

“[The] self-enrichment of having campaigns pay for services from businesses owned by the candidate or even campaign staff is an unnecessary loophole in the campaign finance law,” he continued.

Bowers’ pattern of steering funds to his consultancy extended beyond his role at Black Lives Matter PAC.

Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation (BLMGNF), the 501(c)(3) nonprofit associated with Black Lives Matter PAC, paid over $2 million to Bowers Consulting Firm between July 2020 and June 2021, according to tax documents. Bowers was listed as the nonprofit’s principal officer during that period.

Melina Abdullah, a former BLMGNF activist, sued BLMGNF in 2022, accusing Bowers of using the nonprofit to enrich himself by sending millions of dollars to his consulting firm. She argued that a new group she had founded was entitled to compensation from BLMGNF.

Abdullah’s lawsuit accused Bowers of using BLMGNF as a “piggy bank.”

“Mr. Bowers continues to fraudulently raise money from unsuspecting donors passing himself off as the organization that is doing the work of BLM, padding his own pockets at that of his associates at the cost of BLM’s reputation,” the suit said.

A judge struck down the lawsuit in July 2023, determining that Abdullah failed to establish that her new group was entitled to any of BLMGNF’s funds.

BLMGNF did not respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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