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PACs Collect Millions From Workers’ Paychecks

“It’s just a little bit more convenient from just a cash flow perspective when you are doing your family budgeting,” said Prusher, who participates in the restaurant chain’s payroll deduction program in addition to running its PAC. While Prusher said he could solicit all the way down to the restaurant management level, he instead chooses to solicit a smaller number of executives and directors at the corporate level.

While Burger King is selective with its donors, those who donated wages to other corporate PACs represent a broad range of job titles, from CEOs to custodians.

A large percentage of deducted funds come from executives. At companies around the country, those listing vice president in their job title ponied up more than $16 million from their salaries during the first 18 months of this cycle.

But blue-collar employees also made significant donations, including more than $570,000 from people listing their positions as laborers and $300,000 from people listed as mechanics and maintenance personnel. Even civil servants contributed to their causes, with firefighters donating more than $436,000 and postal employees giving more than $140,000.

After PACs dole out the money, some employees complain about the company supporting candidates the individuals oppose.

“When we give to the candidates they don’t like, we hear about it,” said Jackson, Cash America’s PAC treasurer. Cash America is more bipartisan than most PACs, giving $183,000 to Democrats and $101,000 to Republicans so far this election cycle.

“I understand your position,” she explains to those employees, “but this individual gets our business, has been supportive and the PAC gives for those reasons and not any of your personal reasons.”

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