It seems that another scandal is taking place among the predominantly Democrat Black Congressional Caucus — the same group that endorsed Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election.
According to The Washington Free Beacon, it turns out that the group has been caught spending lavishly on luxury resorts, hotels, restaurants, and Broadway tickets rather than contributing that money to political campaigns, as they should be. Overall, the Black Congressional Caucus spent three times as much on administrative expenses as it did in political contributions.
The group in question, the Congressional Black Caucus, is a political organization made of predominantly Democrat-leaning African-American members of Congress. Their mission, supposedly, is to “increase the number of African Americans in the US Congress, supporting non-Black candidates that champion our interests and to promote African American participation in the political process with an emphasis on young voters,” according to their website.
However, it seems like their spending habits don’t entirely line up with their proclaimed mission statement, as the group has been spending more money on lavish trips and expenditures than actually contributing to these causes.
The PAC spent hundreds of thousands of dollars through the 2016 year on supposed “administrative expenses,” a term that they used on their balance sheets to label these expenditures.
Some sources of spending included trips to various hotels at the Virgin Islands and a $5,000 payment to the Buccaneer Hotel in St. Croix, one of the world’s most notable resorts. They also spent over $820 on taxicab service, $4,500 on catering (at a single restaurant, mind you), and $2,000 on open-bus tours.
However, the group’s largest expenses were in New York and Washington, DC. The PAC had spent over $40,000 at the Conrad Hotel, a luxury all-suite hotel in New York City. Another establishment they frequented was the St. Regis Hotel, which received over $18,000 in payments from the group.
Other hotel expenses include the 5-star Beverly Hills Hotel and the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, spending $6,576 and $3,372 on lodging respectfully.
The group also paid over $177,000 to Benjamin Branch, who provides administrative and managerial consulting services to the PAC.
Overall, the group spent $283,100 towards these various “administrative” expenses, leaving only $127,000 to go to fundraising purposes. Even worse, only $91,000 was contributed to the federal candidates they promise to support.
“With your financial support we will continue to grow, and expand our voice in key campaigns through the country,” claims their website, although at this point, it’s doubtful that voters will remain trustful of the group’s integrity.
This issue of PAC spending has been a prominent one in US politics for several years, with Trump himself speaking out against these organizations during the Republican primaries. With the lavish spending habits of the Congressional Black Caucus having been exposed to public scrutiny, it’s likely that the organization will have more difficulty securing funding in the future.
As for the American people who contributed to this PAC, they are probably feeling like they’ve been taken advantage of, knowing that their contributions weren’t used to further political causes, but rather spent away on lavish resorts and entertainment.
They would be right to feel this way.