Beto O’Rourke Violating Pledge to Reject PAC Support

Press Releases|7.30.18

Accepted more than $172,000 Bundled by Anti-Israel “J-Street PAC”

HOUSTON, Texas— Rep. Robert “Beto” O’Rourke has been misleading Texas voters by saying he doesn’t accept help from any special-interest Political Action Committee (PAC). On Sunday at an event in El Paso while discussing PACs, O’Rourke said that, “we will accept none of their help.” But O’Rourke’s promises do not match his actions. He has allowed at least one influential and extremist PAC to help his campaign by raising significant sums of campaign cash for him. He has accepted a total of $172,285 bundled by the J-Street PAC since being in Congress, according to the most recent Federal Election Commission (FEC) filings.

O’Rourke has made PAC influence a central theme in his campaign. For example, he told voters in Lubbock that PACs have “…really corrupted our democracy. You have Members of Congress beholding to special interests and to corporations, instead of their constituents and people of this country.” O’Rourke added that, “So running a campaign that relies only on people, and not on PACs, ensures that we respond directly to people, and that people never have to wonder whether I represent a special interest or a corporation.”

“Rep. Robert ‘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 campaign spokesman Emily Miller. “But now we know that O’Rourke’s actions have not matched his words, and he has accepted significant fundraising support from the extremist, yet influential, anti-Israel J-Street PAC to aid his candidacy. If O’Rourke does believe that PAC support is corrupting, then he should immediately return the $172,285 raised for him by J-Street PAC.”

J-Street Group is an anti-Israel group, whose support for a Palestinian state is publicly guised as concern for Israel’s safety. O’Rourke has close, longtime ties with J-Street. In 2015, he took a controversial $10,000 trip that was paid for by the “J Street Education Fund.” During the week-long trip, J-Street took O’Rourke to the West Bank.

O’Rourke has a voting record that shows he is far outside the mainstream on support for Israel. He was one of only eight Democrats in the House to vote against crucial funding for Israel’s Iron Dome defense system. O’Rourke also boycotted Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu address to a joint session of Congress.