There’s an old saying: A hit dog will holler.
That’s what progressive grifter Shaun King appears to be doing following a Washington Free Beacon report that he used tens of thousands of dollars of donor money from his social justice PAC to buy a purebred dog. King defended the purchase in social media posts and vowed to "return the pain back to those that have hurt my family."
The former Bernie Sanders surrogate embarked on his vengeance tour after the Free Beacon reported on Monday that Grassroots Law PAC, which King founded in 2019 to "elect candidates who are committed to reducing mass incarceration and police violence," paid $40,650 to a California dog breeder called Potrero Performance Dogs. King said this week he bought Marz for protection "because literal white supremacists have been coming to our home."
There is no indication that the PAC’s payment is illegal, but it does raise questions about whether King’s organization is using its money as donors intended. "This luxury dog expense may not be illegal for a PAC, but it shows little respect for King's donors," said Scott Walter, the president of Capital Research Center. The PAC’s payments to Potrero are among its largest expenditures. The PAC has contributed roughly $60,000 to political candidates since 2021.
King said that Grassroots Law PAC, which "covers all of [his] security costs," approved the Marz purchase. He said the expenditure was an "affordable" option compared to round-the-clock human security guards, though a recent study found that families with licensed security dogs saw only a 1.7 percent decrease in property crime.
Grassroots Law obscured the purpose of the payment to Potrero, labeling the expenditure for "contractor services." King did not disclose that his PAC paid for Marz when he announced "a new addition to the King family" back in February. It is unclear why King, who makes money from speaking gigs, book sales, and his media company, did not pay for the dog out of his own pocket.
King confirmed he recently returned Marz back to Potrero. It is unclear whether Potrero issued a refund to King, though Grassroots Law PAC has not disclosed any refund payments from the breeder. Potrero showed Marz at an American Kennel Club show last month, where he won Best in Show. It is unclear whether Marz will be used for stud services, but puppies of Marz’s breed can fetch thousands of dollars each. Potrero charges $4,800 for its Italian mastiff puppies and $6,800 for its "advanced training course."
King has been dogged for years by allegations of fraud and financial mismanagement at his various social justice endeavors, and has also been the source of violent threats that he now decries. A former ally, DeRay Mckesson, accused him of taking money from one of his social justice projects. The mother of Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old Ohio boy killed by police, accused King of stealing from a fundraiser for her son.
King falsely accused a white man of murdering a seven-year-old black girl in 2018. The man, Robert Cantrell, allegedly received death threats after King suggested he was connected to the murder and called him a "racist, violent asshole." Cantrell’s niece said their family had received threats to "rape, torture and murder the women and children in your family." Cantrell committed suicide several months later. Two other men were sentenced to prison this year for the girl’s murder.