TOP TEN 2006 AND CAREER RECIPIENTS OF PRO-ISRAEL PAC FUNDS
In any given election year, the months between the end of July and election day represent a political action committee’s (PAC) final opportunity to fill in the gaps, correct oversights, respond to late-breaking developments, and in general get one’s ducks in a row. So year-end PAC reports to the Federal Election Commission can make for interesting reading.
The months leading up to Nov. 2, 2006 saw a dark horse emerge in Minnesota’s 5th congressional district. Seemingly out of nowhere, one Ember Reichgott Junge suddenly was receiving contributions from a baker’s dozen of pro-Israel PACs, to the tune of $29,500-not too shabby for a House race. Indeed, the former state senator and broadcast commentator was the only candidate for this open seat to be deemed worthy of these PACs’ support. (Pro-Israel PACs often hedge their bets in races where there’s no incumbent.)
It took only a quick visit to <www.opensecrets.org>, the excellent Web site of the Center for Responsive Politics, to determine the impetus behind this last-minute largesse. Reichgott Junge was running against-and lost to-one Keith Ellison, who became the first Muslim American elected to the House of Representatives. To add insult to injury, despite having raised a total of $676,477 (from all sources) to Ellison’s $795,047-far outdistancing the other candidates-Reichgott Junge came in third in the Sept. 12 Democratic primary. Pro-Israel PACs took their money and went home, and Ellison went on to easily win the general election.