A view of Manhattan from the Bronx. (Axel Drainville / CC 2.0)

There are 16 wealthy donors behind New Yorkers for Independent Action, a super PAC that is spending millions to influence local campaigns in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Suffolk County. But none of these 16 donors lives in these places. Instead, writes George Joseph of the Village Voice, “those registered in New York list addresses on the Upper East Side and in midtown.” As for the others? Joseph reports:

Most of the other donors outside New York list addresses in wealthy enclaves popular with Wall Street commuters, such as Greenwich and Westport, Connecticut. The address farthest away from New York belongs to Alice Walton, the Walmart heiress worth $35.3 billion, who listed a residence in Bentonville, Arkansas.

According to Forbes, this is not the first time that Walton has donated to a political campaign—she has regularly donated to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaigns, giving hundreds of thousands of dollars to various Clinton PACs and fundraising committees.

The super PAC, Joseph explains, is determined “to oust four labor-backed black and Latino state Democrats” from these local New York elections—which is particularly troublesome given that “all of the super-PAC’s donors appear to be white.” Joseph continues:

The group’s main issue has been advocating for an education tax credit, which would give tax rebates to donors and companies for donations to private and parochial schools and has long been opposed by most state Democrats. …

“The flood of big money into state legislative races has been happening over the last few cycles, especially from the hedge fund and real estate industries,” says Karen Scharff, executive director of Citizen Action, a group that advocates public financing of elections. “But this scale of involvement from super-PACs in Democratic primary races in less well-off districts is relatively new.” …

The state teachers union’s affiliated PAC has given money to fend off some of the attacks, spending $85,048 in recent days to defend Brooklyn Assemblywomen Pamela Harris and Latrice Walker and Suffolk County Assemblyman Phil Ramos.

Read the entire article here.

—Posted by Emma Niles

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