Risky Business? Pac Decisionmaking in Congressional Elections

By Robert Biersack; Paul S. Herrnson et al. | Go to book overview

$10,000 shots to a lot of people. Yet individual fundraisers are people who come in . . . a husband and wife can come in with a $4,000 check. I don't see what the big difference really is; it seems to me that PACs are for everyone. 30

WASHPAC is getting ready for 1994. A mailing sent out a week before the 1992 elections yielded contributions for debt retirement and help for a few people that the PAC was unable to help before the election. The reelection campaigns of Frank Lautenberg (D) in New Jersey, and Kent Conrad (D) in North Dakota have also been identified as priority races. WASHPAC had already contributed to twenty-two of the thirty-four Senate races.


Conclusion

WASHPAC was created by one person to pursue one goal. Begun by Morris J. Amitay for the purpose of ensuring a safe Israel, it grew from a mere hobby to the second largest pro-IsraelPAC. The 1992 election offered WASHPAC the opportunity to alter drastically its pattern of contributions to congressional candidates. Nevertheless, WASHPAC, like most other political action committees, gave most of its contributions to incumbents and showed a strong tendency to favor Democrats. This pattern of giving reflects its desire to help ensure the presence of many friends of Israel in Congress. The election results demonstrate the wisdom of this strategy. This, and the experience of WASHPAC in general, shows that one man can make a difference in American politics.


Notes
1.
Personal interview with Morris J. Amitay, treasurer, Washington Political Action Committee, Washington, D.C., November 26, 1991.
2.
Memorandum from Morris Amitay to Advisory Board and Key Members, "Election Day: So What Does It All Mean?" November 4, 1992.
3.
Ibid.
4.
Ibid.
5.
Ed Zuckerman, The Almanac of Federal PACs: 1990 ( Washington, D.C.: Amward Publishing, 1990), p. 547.
6.
Ibid, p. 554.
7.
Amitay interview, November 26, 1991.
8.
Ibid.
9.
Ibid.
10.
Broward Jewish World, October 16-22, 1992.
11.
Personal interview with Morris J. Amitay, Washington, D.C., October 27, 1992.
12.
Personal interview with Morris J. Amitay, Washington, D.C., November 30, 1992.
13.
Amitay interview, October 27, 1992.
14.
Amitay interview, November 30, 1992.
15.
Ibid.
16.
Ibid.
17.
Ibid.

-212-

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