Left-wing activist Shaun King has become a vocal proponent for the Black Lives Matter movement, but a recent report calls into question where the money raised by his political action committee has gone.
King founded the Real Justice PAC in 2017 with the goal of electing “reform-minded prosecutors” who are committed to fighting “structural racism” and defending communities from “abuse by state power,” according to the PAC’s website.
The Washington Free Beacon reviewed the PAC’s finances and found that over the past 15 months, a quarter of the money the Real Justice PAC brought in was funneled back to companies linked to its leaders.
The PAC has written checks totaling over $460,000 since January 2019 to three political consultancy firms linked to PAC employees.
Data strategist Jim Ding and treasurer Becky Bond manage Social Practice LLC and Bernal Alto LLC, both of which have received some of the money.
“Social Practice received nearly $250,000 from Real Justice PAC this cycle for campaign consulting and digital services,” the Free Beacon reported.
Bernal Alto, which has since been dissolved, received $20,000 for consulting and organizing services.
Hector Sigala, one of the PAC’s original leaders, co-founded the third benefiting company, Middle Seat Consulting, which received $193,000 for advertising services.
“There are legal and ethical ways to have people in leadership positions at an organization also serve as vendors to the same organization,” Scott Walter, president of the Capital Research Center, told the Free Beacon.
“But these relationships properly raise questions, especially for a group whose leaders include someone like Shaun King, who has repeatedly been accused of enriching himself improperly.”
Walter said that the Real Justice PAC is overseen by the Federal Election Commission, which doesn’t have as strict regulations against “excessive benefit to an individual from the organization’s coffers” as the Internal Revenue Service.
“Still, groups like Real Justice that routinely criticize their opponents for things like ‘dark money’ influence — should be prepared to defend practices that let leaders write checks to their own for-profit consultancies,” he said.
King has previously been accused of misappropriating and mismanaging charitable funds raised for the Black Lives Matter movement.
When faced with accusations that some of the money he raised for families of black individuals killed by police officers was unaccounted for in 2015, he told The Daily Beast the allegations were “bulls—.”
“People need to understand that failure is not fraud,” King said last year.
In the wake of protests following George Floyd’s death on May 25 in Minneapolis after a police officer knelt on his neck for roughly nine minutes during an arrest, the Real Justice PAC says it has received an influx of new donations, according to the Free Beacon.
The organization is also reportedly on donation-guide lists for people wanting to donate to the Black Lives Matter movement.
“We never aim to replicate the power dynamic of the system we are up against — a system that embraces a devious lack of transparency, willingly sacrifices the vulnerable to protect itself, and replaces truth with convenient lies,” McKesson wrote last September.
“Yet Shaun King has done just that.”
McKesson added that while he appreciates that King’s journalism has brought attention to stories that would have otherwise gone overlooked, “the person who paints your house before he steals your car has still committed theft.”
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