Actor Daniel Craig made a very large donation to “Americans Socially United,” a PAC in support of democratic candidate Bernie Sanders. The film industry’s most recent James Bond gave just under $50,000 to the committee, a fact that was confirmed by his publicist. It’s a generous gift, indeed, but there’s just one problem. There has been some recent speculation that the PAC is illegitimate and that supporters like Craig are being scammed out of their money.
A recent investigation conducted by the Center for Public Integrity, or CPI, pointed out that the founder of the PAC has had several financial and legal issues in the past. The man is Cary Lee Peterson, and he holds firm that his group is in it for the right reasons, telling CPI that he simply “believe[s] in the cause.”
Apparently, many donors have been under the impression that Peterson’s PAC was the official way to donate to Bernie Sanders’s campaign. However, this is not the case.
Perhaps some of the confusion came from the original names Peterson selected for the group, such as “Ready for Bernie Sanders 2016” and “Bet on Bernie 2016.” Peterson later had to change these names, and settle for “Americans Socially United” because of Federal Election Commission requirements.
Sanders’ campaign is actually against PACs, and has actually asked Peterson to stop raising money for his cause in writing. Yet the committee still stands and continues to take in money from supporters such as Daniel Craig. Peterson has said that he is going to continue raising money for the candidate and that he, personally, is pleased to see Craig’s donation come in.
While Cary Lee Peterson’s choice to ignore the letter from Sanders’ campaign asking him to stop collecting funds is an issue, perhaps a bigger problem is that Peterson hasn’t filed any of the necessary paperwork for the PAC, making its existence and intentions incredibly questionable. There are finance reports that must be sent to the Federal Election Commission for any PAC, and Peterson has not provided them. He is in charge of eight other political groups and hasn’t provided their reports to the Federal Election Commission, either.
In the midst of these findings and the questions surrounding “Americans Socially United,” Daniel Craig seems to remain confident his donation will be used for its intended purpose. Craig says that if he believed his money was being used for anything other than what the group claims, he would take appropriate action. Only time will tell whether James Bond has made a wise investment or not.
[Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images]