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Second Pro-Trump Super PAC Launches Despite Candidate’s Previous Opposition

Seeks to raise $20 million by Republican convention

Donald Trump
AP
• May 17, 2016 4:20 pm

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A new Super PAC has launched to support the presidential campaign of presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump, the second such committee throwing its weight behind Trump despite his previously stated opposition to such entities.

The Committee for American Sovereignty, the newly registered pro-Trump Super PAC based out of Los Angeles, was created with the goal of raising at least $20 million to support Trump before the Republican convention in July.

The committee has added Tony Strickland, a former California state senator, as its chairman and has already tapped major donors, including Nicholas Ribis Sr., the former chairman of Trump Hotel, Casino, and Resorts, to back the effort.

Trump has disavowed the involvement of Super PACs on numerous occasions throughout the Republican primary and attacked his opponents for Super PACs that had supported them. Last year, he called on Super PACs that were created in support of his candidacy to return the funds they had raised.

"We are providing this written notice that your organization is not authorized to use Mr. Trump's name and likeness in connection with its fundraising activities, and we are formally disavowing such activities," letters from Trump’s campaign to the Super PACs read at the time.

"Thus, given the invocation of Donald J. Trump in connection with your activities, we ask that you refund all funds received by you in connection with any fundraising undertaken to specifically support and/or done in the name of Donald J. Trump. … The campaign has never received money from your PAC, nor does the campaign want any money, services or goods from your committee."

Nine Super PACs had popped up supporting Trump’s candidacy at the time the letters were sent.

Despite the crackdown on such entities, the Great America PAC, a Super PAC created in January from the backing of a Republican donor and Jewelry Exchange CEO William Doddridge, slipped by with just a letter to change its name when it was registered as ‘TrumPAC.’

The Great America PAC is a "hybrid PAC," which allows it to raise unlimited funds to promote or oppose political candidates. The PAC can also give a limited amount of funds to campaigns or committees.

Trump boasted of how he did not accept money from Super PACs as the Great America PAC was quietly funneling cash to his campaign.

"The first $5 of any contribution will be forwarded, in full, to Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. as an earmarked contribution," the site read in March. "Any amount in excess of $5 is a contribution to Great America PAC, a federal political action committee, and will be used in connection with federal elections."

According to Federal Election Commission records, the Super PAC began pushing contributions to Trump’s campaign in March and has continued to do so until now. The Super PAC has also dumped millions into advertisements.

In addition to the Super PACs, Trump recently acknowledged he will no longer "self-fund" his campaign and will create a "world class finance organization."

Trump’s campaign did not return a request for comment by press time.

Published under: 2016 Election, Donald Trump