Progressive activist Shaun King has become a vocal advocate for the Black Lives Matter movement, but a recent report asks where the money raised by his political action committee has gone.
King started the Real Justice PAC in 2017 with the goal of electing “reform-minded prosecutors” who are fighting against the “structural racism” and defending the black community from “abuse by state power,” as stated by the PAC’s website.
The Washington Free Beacon looked over the PAC’s finances and discovered that over the past 15 months, a quarter of the money the Real Justice PAC had been donated was channeled back to companies associated with its leaders.
The PAC has written checks adding up to over $460,000 since January 2019 to a trio of political consultancy firms associated with PAC employees.
Treasurer Becky Bond and data strategist Jim Ding manage Social Practice LLC and Bernal Alto LLC, both of which have received various funds.
“Social Practice received nearly $250,000 from Real Justice PAC this cycle for campaign consulting and digital services,” the Free Beacon reported.
Bernal Alto, which has since been disbanded, received $20,000 for consulting and organizing services.
Hector Sigala, one of the PAC’s original leaders, co-founded the third company that profits, Middle Seat Consulting, which collected $193,000 for advertising services.
“There are legal and ethical ways to have people in leadership positions at an organization also serve as vendors to the same organization,” Scott Walter, president of the Capital Research Center, told the Free Beacon.
“But these relationships properly raise questions, especially for a group whose leaders include someone like Shaun King, who has repeatedly been accused of enriching himself improperly.”
Walter said that the Real Justice PAC is regulated by the Federal Election Commission, which doesn’t have as strict control against “excessive benefit to an individual from the organization’s coffers” as the Internal Revenue Service.
“Still, groups like Real Justice that routinely criticize their opponents for things like ‘dark money’ influence — should be prepared to defend practices that let leaders write checks to their own for-profit consultancies,” he said.
King has a long history of accusations of swindling and embezzling charitable funds given to the Black Lives Matter movement.
When accused of misappropriating the money he raised for black families murdered by police officers which went missing in 2015, he told The Daily Beast the implication was “bulls—.”
“People need to understand that failure is not fraud,” King said last year.
Protesting has become more popular after George Floyd’s death on May 25 in Minneapolis after a police officer knelt on his neck for eight minutes and forty-six seconds during an arrest, the Real Justice PAC says it has received a steady supply of new donations, according to the Free Beacon.
The firm is also supposedly on donation-guide lists for people desiring to donate to the Black Lives Matter movement.
King was called out by his fellow Black Lives Matter leader DeRay McKesson in a 2019 Medium article accusing the activist of fraud and deception.
“We never aim to replicate the power dynamic of the system we are up against — a system that embraces a devious lack of transparency, willingly sacrifices the vulnerable to protect itself, and replaces truth with convenient lies,” McKesson wrote last September.
“Yet Shaun King has done just that.”
McKesson reckoned that while he acknowledges that King’s journalism has brought awareness to stories that would have otherwise gone unnoticed, “the person who paints your house before he steals your car has still committed theft.”