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November 01, 1985 - Image 38

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1985-11-01

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

38

Friday, November 1, 1985

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

$ PAC S $

J EWISH PAC

s
Paving The Road
To Power

Since 1978, Jewish PACs have increased by 75-fold
and their campaign contributions have swelled by
11,880 percent. But how effective are they? And do
they advance the cause of Israel to the exclusion of
the rest of the traditional Jewish agenda?

Mat tfrATEVS.AN?

1141100;6111

Money to Candidates
Jewish PAC s
All PAC s
$35.2 mil I $31,350
1978
$112.6 mil $3.6 mil
1984

., >,

E 7267°414 A

5

H

1984:
4009
PAC s

BY ARTHUR J. MAGIDA
Special to The Jewish News

At this time last year, a king's ransom
was pouring into Maryland's third con-
gressional district. The money came not
only from outside the district, but from
outside the state. All of it was destined for
the race between 11-term congressman
Clarence Long and challenger Helen
Bentley. A hefty share of these contribu-
tions did not come from individuals or
from the Republican or Democratic par-
ties, but from a controversial — and ex-
tremely affluent — vehicle for funneling
money to candidates — political action
committees, more commonly known as
PACs. PACs sent over $517,000 to the
Long-Bentley race. Pro-Israel PACs were
no slouches when it came to the campaign:
Making up barely four percent of the
PACs in the country, Jewish PACs more
than 31 percent of the PAC money flow-
ing to the third congressional district.
The $160,650 that Jewish PACs pumped
into Long's warchest came from around
the country. It indicated both the Jewish
community's regard for Long and the con-
sensus among Jewish PACs — no matter
where they were based — on congressional
priorities. From Washington, D.C.'s
Capitol PAC came $1,500. From Denver's
Committee for 18 came $2,000. From New
York's Roundtable PAC came $6,500.
From Tucson's Desert Caucus came
$10,000. There seemed to be a unanimity
around the country that "Doc" Long,
chairman of the House subcommittee that
controlled U.S. aid to Israel, needed
Jewish help. More Jewish PAC money, in
fact, went to Long than to anyone else run-
ning for a House seat.
Helen Bentley also did well with PAC
contributions. Her campaign pocketed
$214,378 from PACs. Much of this came

from PACs organized by such firms as the
Bechtel Corporation and the Amoco, Ex-
xon, Shell, Sun and Union oil companies.
All of these often support pro-Arab U.S.
policies.
On election day, Helen Bentley won the
seat that Clarence Long had held since
1962 by a two percent margin.
Not a single pro-Israel PAC had con-
tributed to Bentley's campaign. Not one,
that is, until one month after her victory.
On December 3, 1984, the Delaware Valley
PAC of Philadelphia — which had spent
$10,000 on Long's campaign — gave
Bentley a check for $1,000. In the jargon
of PACmen, this is called "Get Smart
Fast" money. There is nothing illegal
about it. There is nothing unethical about
it. It reflects no sleight of hand accounting
or backroom wheeling and dealing It was
duly reported to the Federal Election Com-
mission and is on public record at the com-
mission's headquarters on K Street in
Washington.
"After November 3, Helen Bentley was
the boss," said Delaware Valley PAC
president Robert Golder, explaining his
PAC's contribution to the congreswoman.
"The Jewish community is now trying to
win her over. She's tough, but she took the
money."
Delaware Valley's contribution to
Bentley helped her settle her campaign
debt. "It lets her sleep better at night,"
said Golder. If Golder's investment pays
off, it will let him, too, sleep better at
night.
Delaware Valley PAC's adroitness in
moving — almost overnight — from par-
tisans of Clarence Long to wooers of Helen
Bentley indicates the political maturity of
Jewish PACs. They have the knack — and

,

.

1984:
75
Jewish
PAC s

1978:
1 Jewish
PAC

1978:
1653
PAC s

Growth of PAC s
1978 to 1984

All PAC s

Jewish PAC s

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