Cross-posted from the Sunlight Foundation’s blog:
American Freedom. Patriots for Truth. Citizens for a Brighter Future. The Alliance for Children & Families. Champions of American Freedom. Common Sense in America.
These names are so agreeable, so reasonable, so inclusive, so damned American and yet their names reveal nothing about who funded these groups. It could be your coworkers, a couple billionaires, a band of small business owners, a gaggle of big corporations or maybe that nice fellow who says hello every morning. You just don’t know.
The Citizens United Supreme Court ruling that led to the explosion of independent expenditures in the midterm elections also spurred a growing list of meaningless titles for organizations. Here at the Sunlight Foundation we will continue to advocate for strong disclosure laws, but we also thought we could have some fun with these vacuous names that simply serve as filing fodder. As we trolled through the spending records from the midterm elections we were shocked at how many people seem to $peak out in favor of common sense, families and the future! Political Action Committees often have bizarre names, but as more and more groups pop up to shield the identity of the donors, the names seem to get even more off topic.
We created this handy (and oh-so embeddable) widget that generates possible PACs and illuminates the absurdity of these inane hollow names. Results may vary:
The PAC Name Generator includes more than 28,000 possible fictional names and mixes in links to a hundred real PACs. Since the real ones are difficult to spot, we’ve linked more info on them from our Influence Explorer project and Follow the Unlimited Money site. Special doff to Jeremy Carbaugh from Labs for turning dreams into code. We would love to hear which results are your favorites and to embed this on your own site use the following code: