It’s no surprise whatsoever that money almost owns Washington and many prominent political campaigns, with good reason. After all the traveling, speeches, interviews, debates and PR events, political campaigns can be incredibly expensive. Since money doesn’t grow on trees, finances must be provided somewhere.


In comes political actions committees to the rescue. PAC’s, as they’re more commonly known, are legally defined as “any organization that receives or spends more than $1,000 for the purpose of influencing a federal election. And PAC’s are anything but rare in the political landscape, with there being an estimated 4,000 active PAC’s in America. What’s potentially harmful about PAC’s is that most of them only donate to political campaigns that share the same beliefs as theirs. While money blatantly influencing political campaign apparently isn’t the same thing as bribing, it usually raises questions or at least eyebrows from some constituents.


Because of that, it’s become known and documented when a politician subscribes to the somewhat new choice not to accept financing from PAC’s. Arguably, the face of not accepting PAC money is former presidential candidate and Vermont senator Bernie Sanders. Instead of relying on PAC’s or even Super PAC’s, the Sanders presidential campaign took a grassroots approach to campaigning and received over one million separate donations, adding up to an average donation of $27. Along with Sanders, a rising Democratic politician is following the same model while running for the Senate seat in deeply Republican Texas.


Beto O’Rourke, a progressive Congressman from El Paso, has been following a similar campaign strategy ever since his announcement of his campaign earlier this year. Instead of relying on the somewhat untrustworthy finances from PAC’s or Super PAC’s, O’Rourke is instead relying on individual donations.



In the heavily Republican state of Texas, O’Rourke is a breath of fresh air. Being from El Paso, he’s very in favor of immigration as well as legalizing marijuana, ending the Drug War and generally takes a progressive stance compared to his competitor, Junior Senator, hardline conservative and possible Zodiac Killer Ted Cruz. And although being only two years younger than Cruz, O’Rourke is being labeled as a “young Kennedy-like politician.”


Much to the surprise of many, the grassroots-like movement of his campaign has proven to be decently successful in raising funds. Among the 46,574 individual donations from April to June, the average contribution was $44, the campaign said. In-state donors accounted for 81 percent of the the contributions. 


O’Rourke has become so notoriously anti-PAC that he recently introduced the No PAC Act, a piece of legislation that would prevent congressional candidates from accepting PAC money. However, it’s not expected to become law.


Also, O’Rourke has stayed true to his dedication of running a grassroots campaign by giving speeches equally in the big cities and the countless suburbs, towns and subdivisions that make up The Lone Star State. Everywhere from San Antonio to Frisco and even my former hood of Denton, speaking at the local concert venue Backyard on Bell.  


With Donald Trump insulting Heidi Cruz during this past election and Ted Cruz still endorsing him along with many other actions, a growing number of Texans are becoming dissatisfied with Cruz’s performance. With that being said, Beto O’Rourke may be the change that this state is looking for.


Are you following the Texas senate race? If so, Tweet me at @CaptainKasoff and we’ll discuss it.