(WASHINGTON) — The Obama campaign has undergone a significant about-face, now openly supporting a pro-Democratic super PAC. The groups, which in 2010 President Obama said would “hijack” people’s votes, will help fund ads attacking his political opponents.
Administration officials are scrambling to explain the move as an effort to counteract, “unlimited money from special interests,” particularly corporations, allowed in the wake of the Citizens United Supreme Court decision.
But it’s important to note that Priorities USA Action can and does receive money from pro-Obama “special interests” of its own, most notably labor unions. The contributions are also made possible by the 2010 Citizens United decision.
Service Employees Union International (SEIU) Committee on Political Education — a traditional PAC — has given $1 million to Priorities USA Action so far this election cycle, according to the Federal Election Commission.
The American Association for Justice — a trial lawyers PAC — gave $50,000 last year, records show.
The contributions, and those likely to follow, mean Obama’s decision to encourage Priorities USA Action also indirectly reverses his much-touted refusal to accept financial support from traditional PACs.
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