Political Party/527

American Association for Justice Political Action Committee (AAJ PAC)

Website:

www.justice.org/ways-to-give/contribute/aaj-pac

Type:

Political Action Committee

Type:

527

Financials (2022):

Total Raised     $5,730,890

Total Spent      $7,364,699

Begin Cash on Hand    $459,034

End Cash on Hand Receipts    $473,884

Debts   $1,500,000

The American Association for Justice Political Action Committee (AAJ PAC) is a Democratic-aligned political action committee affiliated with the left-of-center American Association for Justice (formerly the Association of Trial Lawyers of America). It is among the top 20 political action committees in the United States in terms of total dollars given to candidates. The PAC routinely directs approximately 97 percent of its candidate contributions to benefit Democratic candidates. In total, the PAC spends around $6 million per election cycle, with $7.3 million spent during the 2022 election cycle. [1] [2]

The PAC states that it funds “pro-civil justice candidates” in order to promote the AAJ’s agenda of opposing tort reform at the state and federal levels and oppose out-of-court arbitration agreements, both positions that create more opportunities for trial lawyers to continue to lodge large-scale class-action and other lawsuits. [3] [4]

Background

The American Association for Justice Political Action Committee (AAJ PAC) is the political giving arm of the left-of-center trial lawyers association the American Association for Justice, which was founded in the 1940s as the Association of Trial Lawyers of America (ATLA) before rebranding in 2006. The organization is known for its long track records of clashes with the business community and pro-business groups, particularly the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. [5]

The AAJPAC states that it funds “pro-civil justice candidates” to promote the AAJ’s federal policy agenda. The AAJ primarily focuses on opposing federal tort reform and opposing out-of-court arbitration agreements, both of which being positions that create more opportunities for trial lawyers to continue to lodge large-scale class-action and other lawsuits. [6] [7]

Funding

The AAJ PAC is a major funder of Democratic campaigns. The group contributed $2.2 million to Democratic candidates during the 2020 cycle while contributing just $54,000 to Republicans. Similarly, in the 2022 election cycle, the PAC contributed $1.7 million to Democrats and $53,000 to Republicans. [8]

Aside from contributions directly to candidates, the PAC contributes heavily to Democratic-aligned political organizations and Super PACs. [9]

Recipients

Other political action committees and political organizations that are recipients of the American Association for Justice PAC include the America Votes Action Fund, Ohioans for Justice and Integrity, Shield PAC, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the Senate Majority PAC, Women Vote!, For Our Future, Truth and Justice Fund, and Priorities Action USA. [10]

The PACs single largest contribution in 2022 was $500,000 to the Democratic Senate-leadership affiliated Senate Majority PAC. [11]

Candidates funded by the AAJ PAC included 265 U.S. House of Representatives candidates and 33 U.S. Senate candidates in 2022. The PAC funded the campaign of 30 Democratic senators and candidates and three incumbent Republican senators while also funding 254 House Democratic candidates and 11 House Republicans. [12]

References

  1. “Top PACs.” OpenSecrets. 2022. Accessed November 23, 2022. https://www.opensecrets.org/political-action-committees-pacs/top-pacs/2022 ^
  2. “American Association for Justice PAC: Summary.” OpenSecrets. 2022. Accessed November 23, 2022. https://www.opensecrets.org/political-action-committees-pacs/american-assn-for-justice/C00024521/summary/2022 ^
  3. “AAJ PAC.” American Association for Justice. Accessed November 23, 2022. https://www.justice.org/ways-to-give/contribute/aaj-pac ^
  4. “About Us.” American Association for Justice. Accessed November 23, 2022. https://www.justice.org/about-us ^
  5. Knef, Ann. “ATLA drops ‘Trial Lawyer,’ adds ‘Justice’ to name.” West Virginia Record. July 19, 2006. Accessed September 19, 2022. https://wvrecord.com/stories/510590671-atla-drops-trial-lawyer-adds-justice-to-name ^
  6. “AAJ PAC.” American Association for Justice. Accessed November 23, 2022. https://www.justice.org/ways-to-give/contribute/aaj-pac ^
  7. “About Us.” American Association for Justice. Accessed September 19, 2022. https://www.justice.org/about-us ^
  8. “American Association for Justice PAC: Summary.” OpenSecrets. 2022. Accessed November 23, 2022. https://www.opensecrets.org/political-action-committees-pacs/american-assn-for-justice/C00024521/summary/2022 ^
  9. “American Association for Justice PAC: PAC/Party Contributions.” OpenSecrets. 2022. Accessed November 23, 2022. https://www.opensecrets.org/political-action-committees-pacs/american-assn-for-justice/C00024521/pac-to-pac/2022 ^
  10. “American Association for Justice PAC: PAC/Party Contributions.” OpenSecrets. 2022. Accessed November 23, 2022. https://www.opensecrets.org/political-action-committees-pacs/american-assn-for-justice/C00024521/pac-to-pac/2022 ^
  11. “American Association for Justice PAC: PAC/Party Contributions.” OpenSecrets. 2022. Accessed November 23, 2022. https://www.opensecrets.org/political-action-committees-pacs/american-assn-for-justice/C00024521/pac-to-pac/2022 ^
  12. “American Association for Justice PAC: Candidate Recipients.” OpenSecrets. 2022. Accessed November 23, 2022. https://www.opensecrets.org/political-action-committees-pacs/american-assn-for-justice/C00024521/candidate-recipients/2022 ^
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