Beto O’Rourke Repeats Violation of Pledge to Reject PAC Support

Press Releases|9.7.18

Speaks at Fundraiser hosted by End Citizens United PAC

HOUSTON, Texas— Rep. Beto O’Rourke again revealed his hypocrisy to Texas voters by accepting support from a political action committee at a Washington, D.C. fundraiser, even though he campaigns in Texas against taking any support from political action committees (PACs).

O’Rourke has previously told voters when discussing PACs on the campaign trail in Texas that “we will accept none of their help.” But when in Washington, he will accept support at a fundraiser hosted by a special interest PAC – the End Citizens United PAC, a group that has registered with the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) as a political action committee and that the FEC categorizes as a political action committee.

At last night’s End Citizens United PAC fundraiser, Rep. O’Rourke had the audacity to twice brag that he is campaigning without help from special interests or PACs. Yet the very event where he spoke was sponsored by a special interest PAC.

“Beto O’Rourke travels all over Texas claiming that PACs are corrupt, and he’s made his alleged rejection of PAC influence a cornerstone of his campaign,” said Cruz spokesperson Catherine Frazier. “Yet he held a fundraiser hosted by End Citizens United PAC. O’Rourke’s actions do not match his words and Texans need to know that Beto O’Rourke is a candidate who says one thing on the campaign trail then does another in Washington. Texans need a Senator who is principled, consistent and stands by his word, who will be the same in Washington as he is in Texas – as Ted Cruz has proven over and over again.”

At the End Citizens United PAC event, O’Rourke said, “We are running a campaign without a single dime from special interest, Political action committees or Corporations, all people all the time.” He also said, “But I’ll tell you what, doing this without corporate help, no special interests, no PACs, human to human, person to person, all about people, is the most powerful thing that I have ever been a part of.”

(It is worth mentioning that it is already illegal for corporations to donate to U.S. Senate campaigns).

O’Rourke has been clear about his definition of what includes PAC support. In October 2017, in an interview with the Young Turks’ Cenk Uygur, he was asked “What does it mean to not take PAC money?” His response was (emphasis added):

A political action committee essentially allows corporations or organizations to bundle contributions from their members and channel them to their members of congress and cut checks for $10,000 a pop…..this is the surest, fastest way to raise the money you need to serve your constituents…..For the last few years I haven’t taken any PAC money at all because I don’t want my constituents to wonder if on the arms services committee am I doing the bidding of the people of Texas or the Boeing corporation….by not taking PAC money this frees me from the perception but also from ever having that thought run through my head, do I really want to piss these guys off, they’ve given me so much money, it is so critical for my ability to raise for reelection…” Watch here.

Video of O’Rourke’s speech at the End Citizens United PAC may be viewed here. His references to PACs may be found at time markers 9:13 and 20:15.

This is not the first time O’Rourke violated his PAC pledge. Recent FEC filings revealed that he has accepted a total of $172,285 bundled by the anti-Israel J-Street PAC since being in Congress.