A Democratic super PAC founded by a former U.S. senator has pulled in millions of dollars in recent years but has not made any contributions to Democratic candidates or committees since 2008, a review of campaign finance records shows.
Instead, 21st Century Democrats Super PAC has poured millions into fundraising firms and salaries. The Super PAC also pays rent to a firm whose owner pleaded guilty to his involvement in the racketeering scheme run by recently convicted Rep. Chaka Fattah (D., Pa.).
21st Century Democrats, which was created in 1988 by former Sen. Tom Harkin, commentator Jim Hightower, and former Rep. Lane Evans (D., Ill.), has a stated mission of “training progressives and building a network of populist Democrats who stand up for America’s working families. The super PAC pledges to “support progressive Democratic leaders who will shape the direction of the Democratic Party and enact public policy that transforms this country to a just, fair and equal society for all.”
Despite the group’s stated mission, the only support they appear to have given to Democrats in recent years comes in the form of endorsements posted on their website.
The 2008 election cycle was the last time the PAC provided financial support to Democratic candidates. During the cycle, it hauled in $2.5 million but distributed only a fraction of that—$31,500—to a handful of committees.
The PAC raised nearly $7 million between 2010 and 2016 and spent $6.9 million. None of the money was given to Democratic candidates during this time.