Bend the Arc launches PAC for domestic policy issues

Ron Kampeas

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Bend the Arc launched a political action committee that in its fundraising for candidates will focus strictly on domestic issues of concern to Jewish-Americans.

“Bend the Arc Jewish Action PAC will leverage the Jewish community’s political resources to support members of Congress and congressional candidates who are unapologetic progressive champions,” said a statement issued Tuesday by the liberal Jewish policy group.

“By highlighting the core progressive values of Jewish voters, Bend the Arc Jewish Action PAC will send a clear message that political candidates cannot rely solely on their support for Israel to earn the support of the Jewish community; they must stand for progressive ideals and policies at home.”

The PAC launch included an announcement of $200,000 going to 12 endorsed lawmakers, all Democrats.

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Directing the group will be Hadar Susskind, who also leads Bend the Arc Jewish Action, the Washington-based lobbying arm of Bend the Arc, a group that advocates on an array of liberal policy issues, including voting rights, immigration rights, gay marriage equality, economic justice and gender equity.

Susskind has a long background in Jewish community advocacy, having worked for groups including the Jewish Council for Public Affairs and J Street.

Chairing Bend the Arc Jewish Action is Alex Soros, the son of noted liberal philanthropist George Soros, and chairing the affiliated PAC is Marc Baum, a hedge fund manager from New York. Other donors include Ilyse Hogue, the president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, and Paul Egerman, the national finance chairman for Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).

The endorsed lawmakers are Reps. Mark Takano, Mike Honda, Xavier Becerra and Barbara Lee of California; Keith Ellison and Rick Nolan of Minnesota; Jan Schakowsky of Illinois; Ruben Gallego of Arizona; David Cicilline of Rhode Island; Yvette Clarke of New York; Bonnie Watson Coleman of New Jersey; and Alma Adams of North Carolina.