What Would You Call Your PAC?

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Coming up with names for political action committees is among the odder dark arts practiced in Washington, DC. Unlike most branding excercises, naming a PAC is not about finding a name that’s descriptive or catchy. Rather it’s about finding a name that most people will read right past. As Nicko Margolies of the Sunlight Foundation writes, “These names are so agreeable, so reasonable, so inclusive, so damned American and yet their names reveal nothing about who funded these groups. It could be your coworkers, a couple billionaires, a band of small business owners, a gaggle of big corporations or maybe that nice fellow who says hello every morning. You just don’t know.” And that’s how we wound up with hundreds of political fundraising groups with anodyne names like Alliance for America’s Future, Progress, Vision & Commitment, Invest in a Strong and Secure America, and Beacuse I Care PAC. (There are some amusing exceptions, such as Lousiana Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu’s Jazz PAC and House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s PAC to the Future).

So what would you call your shadowy fundraising organization? The Sunlight Foundation has just released this fun widget that generates 28,000 different imaginary PAC names. (My favorites so far: A P.O. Box for America’s Founding Fathers, Households for America the Beautiful, and Vampires for Prosperity.) Give it a spin:

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TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

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