The Tampa Bay Times (TBT) is reporting that Mayor Andrew Gillum’s gubernatorial campaign PAC, Forward Florida, has received $231,000 from a PAC dedicated to electing black leaders. And the PAC is not bashful about publicizing its mission. See image from their website below.
Also, the group brags about hosting a “Black Campaign School” that trained 120 candidates and campaign operatives from around the country this past June.
The Collective PAC, based in Washington D.C., lists the founder and executive director as Quentin James.
TR confirmed that James was convicted of voter fraud in Columbus, Ohio in 2009 for casting an invalid absentee ballot.
The Franklin County Court ordered the “Defendant pay a fine in the amount of $1,000.00, pay court costs in an amount to be determined, and serve ONE HUNDRED EIGHTY (180) DAYS at the FRANKLIN COUNTY CORRECTIONS CENTER.”
Ultimately, the incarceration sentence was suspended.
Unlike campaign committees, political committees like Collective PAC do not have contribution limits. Also, the Collective PAC has an associated political action committee and a SuperPAC that are required to disclose their donors.
But Collective Future, the 501(c)(4) arm of the group that has served as the largest contributor in 2018 to the Gillium related PAC Forward Florida, does not have to identify donors per IRS rules.
Therefore, the names of donors contributing to Forward Florida are anonymous. TBT reported that Quentin James did not respond when asked about the identity of the major donors to Collective Future.
A Gillum spokesman wrote in an email to TBT that the campaign is “proud” to have the backing of the Collective. “It’s a clear indication that Mayor Gillum has real momentum in this race,” Geoff Burgan wrote.