Political leanings: Republican/Conservative
2018 total spending: $6.2 million
The super PAC describes itself as dedicated to “supporting free market candidates and Republican principles with a specific focus on urban markets.” It argues that its targeting of black communities serves to remedy the “failure of conservatives to portray issues and the parties that represent them forthrightly in the cultural venues popular among African Americans.”
Americas PAC was established in 2003 by Kansas Republican activist Richard Nadler as a “dark money” political nonprofit organized under Section 527 of the IRS code. As such, it was allowed to raise and spend unlimited amounts from any U.S. source without disclosing the identity of its donors.
After Nadler’s death in 2009, control passed to its longtime political consultant, Tom Donelson, who registered it with the Federal Election Commission as a super PAC in 2014, and has since filed regular disclosures of its donations and expenditures.
As an independent expenditure committee, Americas PAC can accept unlimited contributions to advocate the election or defeat of specific candidates.
In 2018, the super PAC spent nearly $6.2 million in independent expenditures; more than half of it was spent in a failed attempt to defeat Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin. It also spent about $1.2 million in support of Republican Matt Rosendale’s unsuccessful race against Democratic Sen. Jon Tester of Montana.
In the 2020 campaign cycle, Americas PAC has spent nearly $3.7 million in independent expenditures, as of July 7. About half has been spent to support Republican Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa. The super PAC also has invested heavily in the Michigan Senate race, spending nearly $1 million to support Republican John James, who is expected to face Democratic Sen. Gary Peters in November.
The super PAC spends most of its money on targeted radio ads and social media. It announced last year that Google “permanently suspended” its advertising account due to violations of Google’s ad policies. In an April 23, 2019, press release, the super PAC said the ban came a few weeks after it ran digital ads critical of Democratic senators that were based on radio ads about abortion.
The super PAC is primarily funded by Richard Uihlein, a businessman who is known for donating hefty sums in support of Republican candidates and causes. In 2018, Americas PAC raised about $7 million, which included nearly $5.4 million from Uihlein. For the 2020 campaign, Uihlein has contributed $4.5 million to Americas PAC — which has raised only about $6,000 from other donors.
FactCheck.org Undergraduate Fellow Katie Busch contributed to this article.