Political Party/527

Real Justice PAC

Website:

realjusticepac.org

Location:

San Francisco, CA

Formation:

2017

Real Justice PAC was founded by Shaun King, Becky Bond, Zack Malitz, and Michael Kieschnick in 2017 to push left-of-center policing and criminal justice policies. Real Justice PAC supports county prosecutors or district attorneys who support limiting or eliminating cash bail, restricting policing practices that left-of-center activist groups deem abusive, and decriminalizing drug, property, assault, and resisting-arrest offenses.

Because the prosecutors backed by the Real Justice PACs push policies that are against the professional advice of many stakeholders, they are frequently opposed by police officers, police unions, county prosecutors, incumbent district attorneys, judges, criminologists, and other officials within the criminal justice system. Real Justice PAC employs aggressive activist tactics to act as a “countervailing, pro-reform voice to hold newly elected prosecutors accountable” against any criticism of the effects of their policy objectives. [1]

The organization’s most significant donor is prominent liberal activist Cari Tuna, who contributed nearly $2 million to the PAC from 2017 through 2019.

Founding

The Real Justice PAC was founded by Shaun King, Becky Bond, Zack Malitz, and Michael Kieschnick in 2017 to push far-left policing and criminal justice policies.

Approach

Real Justice PAC provides support to candidates for county prosecutor and District Attorney offices who support limiting or eliminating money bail, restricting policing practices that left-of-center activist groups deem abusive, and decriminalizing low-level drug, property, assault, and resisting arrest offenses. [2]

Campaigning Methods

The PAC uses volunteers in distributed field programs to knock doors, make phone calls, promote on social media, and use internet activism and peer-to-peer text messaging to support endorsed candidates. A training staff educates local volunteers and campaign staff on consumer software usage, voter contact specific platforms, call center software operations, and a cloud-based voter contact database. [3]

Shaun King leads the organization’s digital media operations. He uses social media activism volunteers and donors on the national, state, and local levels to push for candidates. A consultancy created by former top Bernie Sanders campaign staffers called Middle Seat provides “digital-in-a-box” technical solutions to run multiple county-level prosecutor races simultaneously. [4]

Fundraising

The Real Justice PAC supplies fundraising platforms via social media and national email list to raise money directly for candidates. Middle Seat consulting provides the PAC’s clients with “email fundraising in a box,” a suite of pre-coded and editable email templates. [5]

The organization’s most significant donor is Cari Tuna, who contributed $1,903,480 from 2017-2019 to the PAC. [6]

2017 Campaigns

Philadelphia

The PAC contributed $25,000 to the campaign of Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner (D),[7] an advocate of left-wing criminal justice policies who also received substantial support from George Soros’s political advocacy network. [8]

Portsmouth, Virginia

Real Justice PAC supported the 2017 re-election of Portsmouth, Virginia Commonwealth’s Attorney Stephanie Morales (D). [9]

2018 Campaigns

Of the 12 candidates Real Justice PAC backed for prosecutors’ offices in 2018, only three were elected. Real Justice PAC-backed candidates lost elections or primaries in Hennepin County, Minnesota; [10] Tarrant County[11] and Dallas County, Texas; [12] and Alameda County,[13] Sacramento County,[14]  and San Diego County, California. [15]

St. Louis County

Real Justice PAC supported the campaign of Wesley Bell for County Prosecutor for St. Louis County, Missouri against then-incumbent County Prosecutor Robert P. McCulloch. McCulloch was the county prosecutor during the controversy over the shooting of Michael Brown by a police officer. Bell has courted controversy since being elected by firing three prosecutors who had a role in the Michael Brown case. Three lawsuits were settled, one for $70,000, for wrongful terminations made by Bell. [16] Bell’s campaign received $57,500 from Real Justice PAC. [17]

Contra Costa County

June 5, 2018, Diana Becton won a race for the DA of Contra Costa County, California. [18] Real Justice PAC gave her campaign $26,751. [19]

Bexar County

November 6, 2018, Joe Gonzales won the election for district attorney of Bexar County, Texas. [20] Real Justice PAC provided his campaign with $60,000. [21]

People

Co-Founders

Shaun King is a co-founder of Real Justice PAC and Black Lives Matter activist who has been accused of financial improprieties[22] and possibly misleading supporters. [23]

Becky Bond is an American socialist author and activist. She is a co-founder of the Real Justice PAC, former advisor to U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders’s (I-VT) failed 2016 presidential campaign, former U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke’s (D-TX) unsuccessful campaign for U.S. Senate, former political director of CREDO Mobile, and staff member of  O’Rourke’s unsuccessful campaign for the 2020 Democratic nomination, according to the Washington Examiner. [24] She is a partner at The Social Practice, an ideologically driven political consultancy. [25]

Zack Malitz is a co-founder of Real Justice PAC; he worked as a field director on O’Rourke’s failed Texas 2018 Senate campaign and deputy national digital organizing director of Bernie Sanders’s failed 2016 presidential bid. He is also a partner at The Social Practice. [26]

Michael Kieschnick is the president of the Green Advocacy project and a co-founder of Real Justice PAC. He was the national campaign manager for NextGen Climate’s $60 million federal election programs in 2016, and the co-founder and former CEO of CREDO. [27]

Staff

Patrisse Cullors is a senior advisor at the Real Justice PAC and co-founder of Black Lives Matter. [28]

Brandon Evans is the Political Director of the Real Justice PAC and was the campaign manager of Philadelphia DA Larry Krasner’s first campaign. [29]

Chris Lazare is the organizing director of the Real Justice PAC, and was the deputy distributed organizing director for former U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke’s 2018 failed Senate campaign. [30]

Zoë Wong-Weissman is a Senior Digital Strategist at Middle Seat and a former U.S. Digital campaigner at 350.org. [31]

Jin Ding has helped direct data and technology strategy for the ACLU, National Nurses United, and Real Justice PAC. She is also a partner at The Social Practice. [32]

Alexandria Sousa served as distributed organizing director on O’Rourke’s 2018 failed Texas Senate campaign and is currently a senior strategist at The Social Practice. [33]

Dan Rowe served as GOTV Director at O’Rourke’s 2018 failed US Senate race and is a communications manager at The Social Practice. [34]

References

  1. “Homepage.” Real Justice PAC. Accessed October 3, 2019. https://realjusticepac.org/#the-strategy. ^
  2. “Homepage.” Real Justice PAC. Accessed October 3, 2019. https://realjusticepac.org/#the-strategy. ^
  3. “Homepage.” Real Justice PAC. Accessed October 3, 2019. https://realjusticepac.org/#the-strategy. ^
  4. [1] “Homepage.” Real Justice PAC. Accessed October 3, 2019. https://realjusticepac.org/#the-strategy. ^
  5. [1] “Homepage.” Real Justice PAC. Accessed October 3, 2019. https://realjusticepac.org/#the-strategy. ^
  6. “REAL JUSTICE PAC – Committee Overview.” FEC.gov. Accessed October 3, 2019. https://www.fec.gov/data/committee/C00632554/?tab=raising&cycle=2018. ^
  7. [1] FEC FORM 3X Real Justice PAC, Report of Receipts and Disbursements for Other Than an Authorized Committee, 2017, Lawrence Krasner For District Attorney, https://www.fec.gov/data/committee/C00632554/?tab=spending&cycle=2020. ^
  8. Dent, Mark. “Larry Krasner and George Soros Spent $33 per Vote to Win the Philly DA Race.” Billy Penn. Billy Penn, June 27, 2017. https://billypenn.com/2017/06/26/larry-krasner-and-george-soros-spent-33-per-vote-to-win-the-philly-da-race/. ^
  9. The intercept. “Prosecutor Who Convicted White Police Officer for Killing Black Teen Is Re-Elected in Contentious Race.” The Intercept, November 8, 2017. https://theintercept.com/2017/11/07/prosecutor-who-convicted-white-police-officer-for-killing-black-teen-is-re-elected-in-contentious-race/. ^
  10. “Mark Haase.” Ballotpedia. Accessed October 1, 2019. https://ballotpedia.org/Mark_Haase. ^
  11. “Albert Roberts.” Ballotpedia. Accessed October 1, 2019. https://ballotpedia.org/Albert_Roberts. ^
  12. “Elizabeth Davis Frizell.” Ballotpedia. Accessed October 1, 2019. https://ballotpedia.org/Elizabeth_Davis_Frizell. ^
  13. Ruggiero, Angela. “Alameda County DA Likely to Keep Seat as Top Prosecutor after Smear Campaigns.” East Bay Times. East Bay Times, June 7, 2018. https://www.eastbaytimes.com/2018/06/06/alameda-county-da-likely-to-keep-seat-as-top-prosecutor-after-smear-campaigns/. ^
  14. “Noah Phillips.” Ballotpedia. Accessed October 1, 2019. https://ballotpedia.org/Noah_Phillips. ^
  15. Moran, Greg. “DA Race: Stephan Easily Defeats Challenger Jones-Wright, Earns Full Term.” Tribune. San Diego Union-Tribune, June 6, 2018. https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/public-safety/sd-me-elex-da-20180531-story.html. ^
  16. Currier, Joel. “Third Prosecutor Forced out by Wesley Bell Gets $70,000 Settlement with St. Louis County.” stltoday.com, August 24, 2019. https://www.stltoday.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/third-prosecutor-forced-out-by-wesley-bell-gets-settlement-with/article_9a07d388-9c43-5164-9ca3-fbe4ecf38f35.html. ^
  17. FEC FORM 3X Real Justice PAC, Report of Receipts and Disbursements for Other Than an Authorized Committee, 2018, Friends of Wesley Bell, https://www.fec.gov/data/committee/C00632554/?tab=spending&cycle=2020. ^
  18. Gartrell, Nate. “Graves Concedes Contra Costa DA’s Race to Diana Becton.” East Bay Times. East Bay Times, June 15, 2018. https://www.eastbaytimes.com/2018/06/14/graves-concedes-diana-becton-likely-contra-costas-first-elected-african-american-woman-da/. ^
  19. FEC FORM 3X Real Justice PAC, Report of Receipts and Disbursements for Other Than an Authorized Committee, 2018, Diana Becton For District Attorney 2018, https://www.fec.gov/data/committee/C00632554/?tab=spending&cycle=2020. ^
  20. Collier, Dillon, Josh Saunders, David Raziq, and Mariah Medina. “DA Announces Rejection of Some Felony Drug Cases.” KSAT, May 16, 2019. https://www.ksat.com/news/defenders/da-now-rejecting-felony-drug-cases-in-certain-circumstances. ^
  21. FEC FORM 3X Real Justice PAC, Report of Receipts and Disbursements for Other Than an Authorized Committee, 2018, Joe Gonzales Campaign, https://www.fec.gov/data/committee/C00632554/?tab=spending&cycle=2020. ^
  22. Flynn, Meagan. “Shaun King Threatens to Sue Activists Who Accused Him on Twitter of Mishandling Fundraisers.” The Washington Post. WP Company, January 18, 2019. https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2019/01/18/shaun-king-threatens-sue-activists-who-accused-him-twitter-mishandling-fundraisers/. ^
  23. Judge, Monique. “Friend, Foe or Fraud? Shaun King on the Accusations Against Him, Rihanna’s Diamond Ball, DeRay and More.” The Root. The Root, September 23, 2019. https://www.theroot.com/friend-foe-or-fraud-shaun-king-on-the-accusations-aga-1838042089. ^
  24. “Top Beto O’Rourke adviser is socialist who slammed Saul Alinsky as a moderate.” Washington Examiner. March 14, 2019. Accessed March 26, 2019. https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/top-beto-orourke-adviser-is-socialist-who-slammed-saul-alinsky-as-a-moderate  ^
  25. “Social Practice.” Social Practice. Accessed October 1, 2019. https://thesocialpractice.org/. ^
  26. “Homepage.” Real Justice PAC. Accessed October 3, 2019. https://realjusticepac.org/#the-strategy. ^
  27. “Homepage.” Real Justice PAC. Accessed October 3, 2019. https://realjusticepac.org/#the-strategy. ^
  28. “Homepage.” Real Justice PAC. Accessed October 3, 2019. https://realjusticepac.org/#the-strategy. ^
  29. “Homepage.” Real Justice PAC. Accessed October 3, 2019. https://realjusticepac.org/#the-strategy. ^
  30. “Homepage.” Real Justice PAC. Accessed October 3, 2019. https://realjusticepac.org/#the-strategy. ^
  31. “Homepage.” Real Justice PAC. Accessed October 3, 2019. https://realjusticepac.org/#the-strategy. ^
  32. “Homepage.” Real Justice PAC. Accessed October 3, 2019. https://realjusticepac.org/#the-strategy. ^
  33. “Homepage.” Real Justice PAC. Accessed October 3, 2019. https://realjusticepac.org/#the-strategy. ^
  34. “Homepage.” Real Justice PAC. Accessed October 3, 2019. https://realjusticepac.org/#the-strategy. ^

Directors, Employees & Supporters

  1. Becky Bond
    Officer/Board Member
  2. Michael Kieschnick
    Officer/Board Member
  3. Cari Tuna
    Supporter
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Real Justice PAC

3041 MISSION ST #327
San Francisco, CA 94110