Empire Strikes PAC And Other Punny SuperPAC Names : It's All Politics My Cat Xavier For a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow superPAC backed Hank the Cat in the 2012 Virginia Senate election. Xavier also cared about naps, treats, and prison reform.
NPR logo Empire Strikes PAC And Other Punny SuperPAC Names

Empire Strikes PAC And Other Punny SuperPAC Names

B.E.A.R.D. PAC is a nonpartisan superPAC that supports bearded candidates nationwide. Courtesy of B.E.A.R.D. PAC hide caption

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Courtesy of B.E.A.R.D. PAC

B.E.A.R.D. PAC is a nonpartisan superPAC that supports bearded candidates nationwide.

Courtesy of B.E.A.R.D. PAC

This post was updated at 4:30 p.m. ET with comment from Xavier the cat's human.

Because superPACs aren't legally allowed to donate money directly to or coordinate with a political campaign, founders often give them patriotic but purposefully vague names. There's Keep the Promise (supporting Ted Cruz), Opportunity and Freedom (Perry), Priorities USA Action (Clinton), and Pursuing America's Greatness (Huckabee).

SuperPACs can raise unlimited sums of money from corporations, individuals, and other associations and can spend freely to support or oppose a given candidate.

But not every superPAC aims for a serious name or even a serious platform. The threshold to legally form such a committee is low enough that many Americans have formed their own superPACs for a small platform, as a joke, or to make a statement about superPACs themselves, like comedian Stephen Colbert did in 2011 with Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow.

"I see publicizing the superPACs with a satirical streak as a way of keeping some level of public attention on the issue that these superPACs exist at all, are so easy to form, and have a variety of poorly-understood legal tricks at their disposal which can be and are used to pour mind-boggling sums of capital into political campaigns," said Danny Ben-David, a recent MIT graduate who serves as president and "Grand Poobah" of Why Not ZoidPAC?

All superPAC owners-to-be need to do to create one is fill out FEC Form 1, then submit a letter to identify as a superPAC using this template. After registering as a superPAC, filers must file regular reports to disclose their receipts and disbursements. Friday, July 31st at midnight was the latest filing deadline for superPACs.

"In the end, it took five pieces of paper and a stamp," Ben-David said. He received a confirmation of his superPAC's status a week later.

Here are some other creative names spicing up campaign finance:

Great SuperPAC Names From Past And Present

  • Bearded Entrepreneurs for the Advancement of Responsible Democracy

    Bearded co-founders Jonathan Sessions and Andrew Shapiro plan to use the $52 that their superPAC has raised so far this year to support bearded candidates to win elections.

    "Looking at the history of American politics, we realized we had moved to a place where we were seeing very few candidates with beards elected, or candidates would shave their beards when up for election on the national level," said Sessions, a bearded entrepreneur in Columbia, Mo., on why the two decided to found the superPAC.

    B.E.A.R.D. PAC is a nonpartisan organization that supports a single platform: beards. Sessions encourages bearded and non-bearded donors alike to get involved in the movement to elect more facially-follicled candidates to office at BeardPAC.com.

  • Why Not ZoidPAC?

    Danny Ben-David founded Why Not ZoidPAC? in the beginning of January 2012. After watching comedian Stephen Colbert form his own superPAC, Ben-David read up on just how easy the process is.

    "[It] led me to that moment of saying 'Oh hell, why not?' and deciding to go for it," Ben-David said.

    What followed was a crash course in the campaign finance system for the recent MIT grad.

    "I learned everything from naming regulations on PACs and position titles to the terrifyingly poor security measures in place for e-filing, to interesting uses of the Form 99X memo," Ben-David said. "It's been well worth it."

    Though ZoidPAC?'s war chest currently only consists of six dollar bills that were mysteriously mailed to Ben-David in a handwritten envelope, Ben-David has found other uses for ZoidPAC?. He submitted tongue-in-cheek memos and ASCII art of Futurama's Dr. Zoidberg, the PAC's namesake, to the FEC.

    "I remain amused that the FEC will have to store that data in the name of transparency for a long, long time," Ben-David said.

  • Six-PAC

    Three avid beer fans and Penn State law students, Connor Line, John Pokiniewski, and Tucker Anderson, decided to found Six-PAC to apply their legal skills and humor to "push forward political messages for one of our most precious small business groups: small brewers," Line said. The three law students support relaxed liquor laws, small brewers, refined distribution regulations, and reduced tax rates for small brewers.

    The PAC, which is formally registered as Americans for Better Brewing aka Six-PAC, plans to hoist high a star-spangled pint of freedom at a fundraising and beer education event they want to call The Suds of Liberty. Lucky guests might even be able to try one of Tucker Anderson's recently bottled golden beet homebrew.

  • My Cat Xavier for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow

    Another superPAC is My Cat Xavier for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow. Xavier, a black cat, was mostly completely indifferent to politics, said his human roommate Ania Hornberger, but he did eventually decide to throw his support behind 2012 candidate for the Virginia Senate seat, Hank the Cat. Xavier also supports prison reform and, after having been diagnosed with feline diabetes, advocates to felines everywhere that feline diabetes need not be a death sentence.

    "It can be easily managed with a few lifestyle changes!" Hornberger said.

    Xavier and Hornberger first decided to start the superPAC in 2012 after watching an episode of The Colbert Report, one of Xavier's favorite shows.

    "He learned about the unchecked influence of private money on our election system and how much power wealthy people wield in politics," Hornberger said. "Frankly, Xavier was outraged and decided he, too, wanted to have a voice. He's been meowing about it ever since."

  • Empire Strikes PAC

    This superPAC, registered out of San Diego, hasn't yet raised any money since it first filed its statement of organization in September 2014, but we can only assume that Empire Strikes PAC would support a candidate with a pro-Wookiee agenda.

  • Wolf PAC

    Unfortunately for fans of The Hangover, this superPAC is less about drunken escapades in Las Vegas than it is about a serious political platform, though it certainly has a quirky name.

    Wolf PAC first organized in 2010 and has raised nearly $130,000 this year alone. Wolf PAC's ultimate goal is to pressure "State Legislators to pass a much needed Free and Fair Elections Amendment to our Constitution" and to "take away the massive influence that money has over our political process."

  • Slam Dunks, Fireworks, and Eagles SuperPAC

    There may be fewer slam dunks in the 2016 election, because Slam Dunks, Fireworks, and Eagles Super PAC, founded by George Washington University students in 2012, is no longer in operation. Its founders formed the superPAC with the idea to buy beer for congressmen and get them to work across the partisan divide.

    "We personally want these congressmen to be able to talk to each other, stop playing to your party's base, to the media, quit the rhetoric," Daniel Bassali, the Super PAC's former treasurer and co-founder, told Fox News. "We're on the same team here."

  • Americans Against Americans Who Do Not Recycle And Misspell Bengazi

    This superPAC's founders did not respond for comment, so we are left to speculate that the superPAC embraces platforms against at least two groups of people: Americans who don't recycle, and Americans who misspell Benghazi, which is ironically misspelled in the superPAC's title.

Others:

  • Americans for More Rhombus

  • Americans for a Better Yesterday, Tomorrow

  • Howard Stern Fans For a Baba Booey Tomorrow, Tomorrow

  • Cats For a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow

  • BillForFirstLady2015.com PAC

  • Megaloi Logoi

  • Science!

  • No Fools Allowed NFA Super PAC

  • Just Drink the KoolAid

  • Bears for a Bearable Tomorrow