Political Party/527

General Majority PAC

Tax ID:

46-2127802

Type:

Super PAC

General Majority PAC is a national political action committee which aims to elect Democratic officials at the state and local level. [1] General Majority has focused primarily on Pennsylvania and New Jersey races, in addition to filing lawsuits in order to increase the power of PACs at the state level.

History

In 2013, political operatives associated with Senate Majority leader Harry Reid (D-NV) created the Fund for Jobs, Growth, and Security, which later became General Majority PAC. [2] The group is designed primarily to elect Democratic state lawmakers. [3] Since 2013, the group has raised over $30 million to contribute to electing Democratic candidates. [4]

Since 2013, General Majority has sued the state of New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission in 2013 over a rule which limited the amount someone could donate to a group to $7,200. [5] New Jersey overturned the rule, and following this ruling, General Majority spent nearly $9 million in the 2013 New Jersey legislative elections. [6] In 2014, General Majority also won a case in Pennsylvania removing barriers to receiving contributions from corporations and labor unions. [7]

Political Activity

Most of General Majority PAC’s efforts have been focused on winning state legislative majorities for the Democratic Party, most notably in New Jersey. General Majority is one of the largest 527 political action committees in the state of New Jersey, spending almost $1.2 million in the 2017 and 2019 legislative election cycles alone. [8] In 2019, General Majority focused extensively on maintaining New Jersey’s 11th Legislative District, which had flipped to the Democratic Party in 2015. [9]

In 2015, General Majority PAC spent $407,000 for a single week of TV ads in September. [10] The ads targeted Republican candidates in legislative districts one and two, attacking the candidates in an attempt to secure a Democratic victory. [11] In District Two alone, General Majority spent $449,000 in the 2015 election cycle, along with another $405,000 in District One. [12]

Antwan McClellan Controversy

In 2019, Ocean City councilman Antwan McClellan (R) ran to represent District 1 in New Jersey’s General Assembly on a Republican ticket. [13] In response to McClellan’s candidacy, General Majority PAC put out a mailer, attacking McClellan as a “financial deadbeat.” [14] The flyer depicted McClellan, who is African American, smiling in a black and white profile photo, against a yellow circular background. [15]

McClellan’s campaign responded, claiming that General Majority’s branding was evocative of Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben products and that McClellan’s complexion had been noticeably and intentionally darkened in the photograph. [16] [17] General Majority declined to respond, while the Democratic Assembly Campaign Committee denied any connection to the mailer. [18]

Supporters

In 2017 in New Jersey, actor Alec Baldwin participated in a fundraiser with General Majority PAC, which raised $5.1 million for Democrats across the state of New Jersey by drawing over 1,000 supporters. [19] General Majority claimed following the event that the amount of funds raised is the most ever raised by either major party at a single event in New Jersey history. [20]

The General Majority PAC faced controversy in January 2019 for its relationship with Democratic powerbroker George Norcross III, nearly resulting in an investigation by the New Jersey Attorney General. [21] [22] The largest New Jersey utility provider, PSE&G, gave a $55,000 donation to General Majority PAC in 2018, just four months after the company won a lucrative state nuclear subsidy through legislation supported by State Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D-West Deptford). [23] Sweeney denied involvement with General Majority PAC. [24]

PSE&G later admitted that the donation was supposed to be given to the General Growth Fund, a 501(c)(4) “dark money” group linked to General Majority PAC that shares its leadership and office space. [25] [26] The controversy sparked comprehensive 501(c)(4) reform in New Jersey, with Governor Phil Murphy (D) signing legislation which passed both houses unanimously in June 2019 that required disclosure of contributors who give more than $10,000 to 501(c)(4) organizations in the state. [27]

General Majority faced further scrutiny for its connection with Norcross in May 2019. Since 2013, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) has approved $1.6 billion in tax breaks since 2013, $1.1 billion of which went to companies connected to Norcross. [28] Executives and lawyers at companies that received tax incentives loaned General Majority $1.6 million, and are still owed $695,000 as of May 2019. [29] In the competitive 2017 elections for governor and all seats in the New Jersey State Assembly, contributions and loans from officials and companies that were given state tax breaks comprised 20 percent of all funding General Majority received that year. [30]

People

Susan McCue, former chief of staff to Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), was the most recent president of General Majority. [31] McCue is currently president of Message Global, a public affairs firm which she founded to advance left-of-center movements. [32] McCue also served on the Broadcasting Board of Governors which oversees U.S.-government run international media, after being nominated by both Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama and receiving unanimous confirmation by the Senate. [33]

References

  1. “General Majority PAC.” Facebook. Accessed November 19, 2019. https://www.facebook.com/pg/GeneralMajorityPAC/about/?ref=page_internal. ^
  2. Balcerzak, Ashley. “NJ Tax Break Winners Gave Millions to Political Group Linked to George Norcross.” North Jersey. North Jersey Record, May 31, 2019. https://www.northjersey.com/story/news/watchdog/2019/05/30/george-norcross-general-majority-pac-nj-tax-breaks/1208414001/. ^
  3. Balcerzak, Ashley. “NJ Tax Break Winners Gave Millions to Political Group Linked to George Norcross.” North Jersey. North Jersey Record, May 31, 2019. https://www.northjersey.com/story/news/watchdog/2019/05/30/george-norcross-general-majority-pac-nj-tax-breaks/1208414001/. ^
  4. Balcerzak, Ashley. “NJ Tax Break Winners Gave Millions to Political Group Linked to George Norcross.” North Jersey. North Jersey Record, May 31, 2019. https://www.northjersey.com/story/news/watchdog/2019/05/30/george-norcross-general-majority-pac-nj-tax-breaks/1208414001/. ^
  5. Tau, Byron. “’Citizens United’ Targets States.” POLITICO, May 1, 2014. https://www.politico.com/story/2014/05/citizens-united-states-general-majority-pac-106216. ^
  6. Tau, Byron. “’Citizens United’ Targets States.” POLITICO, May 1, 2014. https://www.politico.com/story/2014/05/citizens-united-states-general-majority-pac-106216. ^
  7. “Statement on General Majority PAC V. Aichele.” Pennsylvania Department of State. Accessed November 19, 2019. https://www.dos.pa.gov/VotingElections/CandidatesCommittees/CampaignFinance/Pages/Statement-on-General-Majority-PAC-V.-Aichele.aspx. ^
  8. Brush, Chase. “Greatly Outfinanced, GOP Candidates Try to Retake 11th District from Dems.”

    NJ Spotlight, November 1, 2019. https://www.njspotlight.com/2019/11/greatly-outfinanced-gop-candidates-try-to-retake-11th-district-from-dems/. ^

  9. Brush, Chase. “Greatly Outfinanced, GOP Candidates Try to Retake 11th District from Dems.” NJ Spotlight, November 1, 2019. https://www.njspotlight.com/2019/11/greatly-outfinanced-gop-candidates-try-to-retake-11th-district-from-dems/. ^
  10. Aregood, JT. “Source: General Majority PAC’s $209K Ad Buy Shows Crisis of Confidence.” Observer. Observer, August 10, 2016. https://observer.com/2015/09/source-general-majority-pacs-290k-ad-buy-shows-crisis-of-confidence/. ^
  11. Aregood, JT. “Source: General Majority PAC’s $209K Ad Buy Shows Crisis of Confidence.” Observer. Observer, August 10, 2016. https://observer.com/2015/09/source-general-majority-pacs-290k-ad-buy-shows-crisis-of-confidence/. ^
  12. Catalini, Michael. “Super PAC Backing Dems Spends $1M in 3 Races.” Courier. CherryHill, October 8, 2015. https://www.courierpostonline.com/story/news/local/south-jersey/2015/10/08/election-assembly-jersey/73595194/. ^
  13. Bakan, Josh. “GOP Claims Mailer ‘Darkened’ Photo Of Black Ocean City Official.” Ocean City, NJ Patch. Patch, September 16, 2019. https://patch.com/new-jersey/oceancity/gop-claims-mailer-darkened-photo-black-ocean-city-official. ^
  14. Bakan, Josh. “GOP Claims Mailer ‘Darkened’ Photo Of Black Ocean City Official.” Ocean City, NJ Patch. Patch, September 16, 2019. https://patch.com/new-jersey/oceancity/gop-claims-mailer-darkened-photo-black-ocean-city-official. ^
  15. Bakan, Josh. “GOP Claims Mailer ‘Darkened’ Photo Of Black Ocean City Official.” Ocean City, NJ Patch. Patch, September 16, 2019. https://patch.com/new-jersey/oceancity/gop-claims-mailer-darkened-photo-black-ocean-city-official. ^
  16. Bakan, Josh. “GOP Claims Mailer ‘Darkened’ Photo Of Black Ocean City Official.” Ocean City, NJ Patch. Patch, September 16, 2019. https://patch.com/new-jersey/oceancity/gop-claims-mailer-darkened-photo-black-ocean-city-official. ^
  17. Biryukov, Nikita. “Candidates Spar on Guns, Dark Money in LD8.” New Jersey Globe, September 23, 2019. https://newjerseyglobe.com/legislature/candidates-spar-on-guns-dark-money-in-ld8/. ^
  18. Bakan, Josh. “GOP Claims Mailer ‘Darkened’ Photo Of Black Ocean City Official.” Ocean City, NJ Patch. Patch, September 16, 2019. https://patch.com/new-jersey/oceancity/gop-claims-mailer-darkened-photo-black-ocean-city-official. ^
  19. “Alec Baldwin Raises $5.1 Million for New Jersey Democrats.” CNBC. CNBC, June 2, 2017. https://www.cnbc.com/2017/06/02/alec-baldwin-raises-5-point-1-million-for-new-jersey-democrats.html. ^
  20. “Alec Baldwin Raises $5.1 Million for New Jersey Democrats.” CNBC. CNBC, June 2, 2017. https://www.cnbc.com/2017/06/02/alec-baldwin-raises-5-point-1-million-for-new-jersey-democrats.html. ^
  21. Balcerzak, Ashley. “NJ Tax Break Winners Gave Millions to Political Group Linked to George Norcross.” North Jersey. North Jersey Record, May 31, 2019. https://www.northjersey.com/story/news/watchdog/2019/05/30/george-norcross-general-majority-pac-nj-tax-breaks/1208414001/. ^
  22. Arco, Matt. “Large Donation to Democratic Powerbroker-Linked Group Could Spark AG Probe.” NJ.com, January 8, 2019. https://www.nj.com/politics/2019/01/large-donation-to-democratic-powerbroker-linked-group-could-spark-ag-probe.html. ^
  23. Arco, Matt. “Large Donation to Democratic Powerbroker-Linked Group Could Spark AG Probe.” NJ.com, January 8, 2019. https://www.nj.com/politics/2019/01/large-donation-to-democratic-powerbroker-linked-group-could-spark-ag-probe.html. ^
  24. Arco, Matt. “Large Donation to Democratic Powerbroker-Linked Group Could Spark AG Probe.” NJ.com, January 8, 2019. https://www.nj.com/politics/2019/01/large-donation-to-democratic-powerbroker-linked-group-could-spark-ag-probe.html. ^
  25. Muoio, Danielle, and Matt Friedman. “PSEG Tried to Give $55K to Norcross-Linked ‘Dark

    Money’ Group after Nuclear Subsidy Approved.” Politico PRO, January 6, 2019. https://www.politico.com/states/new-jersey/story/2019/01/06/pseg-tried-to-give-55k-to-norcross-linked-dark-money-group-after-nuclear-subsidy-approved-773426. ^

  26. Arco, Matt. “Large Donation to Democratic Powerbroker-Linked Group Could Spark AG Probe.” NJ.com, January 8, 2019. https://www.nj.com/politics/2019/01/large-donation-to-democratic-powerbroker-linked-group-could-spark-ag-probe.html. ^
  27. Levinsky, David. “Gov. Phil Murphy, Lawmakers Reach Deal on Dark Money Disclosure.” Burlington County Times. Burlington County Times, June 10, 2019. https://www.burlingtoncountytimes.com/news/20190610/gov-phil-murphy-lawmakers-reach-deal-on-dark-money-disclosure. ^
  28. Balcerzak, Ashley. “NJ Tax Break Winners Gave Millions to Political Group Linked to George Norcross.” North Jersey. North Jersey Record, May 31, 2019. https://www.northjersey.com/story/news/watchdog/2019/05/30/george-norcross-general-majority-pac-nj-tax-breaks/1208414001/. ^
  29. Balcerzak, Ashley. “NJ Tax Break Winners Gave Millions to Political Group Linked to George Norcross.” North Jersey. North Jersey Record, May 31, 2019. https://www.northjersey.com/story/news/watchdog/2019/05/30/george-norcross-general-majority-pac-nj-tax-breaks/1208414001/. ^
  30. Balcerzak, Ashley. “NJ Tax Break Winners Gave Millions to Political Group Linked to George Norcross.” North Jersey. North Jersey Record, May 31, 2019. https://www.northjersey.com/story/news/watchdog/2019/05/30/george-norcross-general-majority-pac-nj-tax-breaks/1208414001/. ^
  31. Balcerzak, Ashley. “NJ Tax Break Winners Gave Millions to Political Group Linked to George Norcross.” North Jersey. North Jersey Record, May 31, 2019. https://www.northjersey.com/story/news/watchdog/2019/05/30/george-norcross-general-majority-pac-nj-tax-breaks/1208414001/. ^
  32. “Susan McCue.” Message Global. Accessed November 19, 2019. http://www.message-global.com/who/susan-mccue. ^
  33. “Susan McCue.” Message Global. Accessed November 19, 2019. http://www.message-global.com/who/susan-mccue. ^

Directors, Employees & Supporters

  1. Ezra Reese
    Consultant

Associated Organizations

  1. Majority Forward (Non-profit)
  See an error? Let us know!