Black Lives Matter endorsed Democrat was sentenced to prison for 22 months after being convicted of stealing from her own campaign for state senate and also from the Democratic Party.
The former Louisiana state senator, Democrat Karen Carter Peterson, pleaded guilty to wire fraud and claimed that her motivation for stealing was due to a gambling addiction. Her lawyers claimed she had a ‘diminished mental health’, due to the addiction, but the judge was not impressed with their plea for leniency and for home incarceration.
Peterson, a former Louisiana Democratic Party chair, abruptly resigned in April and was charged a month later with wire fraud. She pled guilty to funneling $140,000 of campaign and party funds to individuals and companies who would cash the checks and give the funds to Peterson.
The Department of Justice said in July that she filed “false and misleading” campaign finance reports to cover her tracks.
Peterson responded on Twitter to the DOJ statement announcing her crimes by claiming she was addicted to gambling and was planning on doing better in the future.
“Today marks an important step in my life-long recovery as I continue to address my gambling addiction. I sincerely apologize for the impact from my compulsive behavior resulting from this addiction,” Peterson tweeted.
“I have made full repayment of funds used as a result of my addiction and I will continue to make amends,” she added. “Staying true to the steps of my ongoing recovery, I have been forthright, honest, and fully cooperative with the US Attorneys’ Office in their investigation.”
I have made full repayment of funds used as a result of my addiction and I will continue to make amends.
Staying true to the steps of my ongoing recovery, I have been forthright, honest,and fully cooperative with the US Attorneys’ Office in their investigation. #gamblingrecovery
— KarenCarterPeterson (@TeamKCP) July 14, 2022
Fox News reported that Peterson was the only federal politician to be endorsed by Black Lives Matter since January 2021. According to federal records, the Black Lives Matter PAC dumped $100,000 into independent efforts to help Peterson’s campaign for Louisiana’s Second Congressional District. That campaign failed to put her into office. The judge ordered Peterson to report to federal prison on March 6.
According to Influence Watch, Black Lives Matter PAC is a left-of-center political action committee affiliated with the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, the primary organization associated with the Black Lives Matter movement. It was announced in late 2020.
Black Lives Matter PAC was publicly announced on October 9, 2020. Its stated purpose is to help “elect progressive community leaders, activists, and working-class candidates fighting for Black liberation.” Patrisse Cullors, the former executive director of the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, explained to Politico that Black Lives Matter PAC was created because “[w]e want to be able to not just speak in ‘get out the vote’ language.”
A 2020 Impact Report released by the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation explained that Black Lives Matter PAC was created in order “to support the candidates who align with the movement’s foundation.” It further stated that “[t]he people crave a radical, Black-led movement within our body of elected officials.”
During the 2020 United States general election, Black Lives Matter PAC partnered with the left-wing Working Families Party to contact 5.4 million voters in the states of Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Wisconsin.
According to the 2020 Impact Report, 44 candidates and measures endorsed by Black Lives Matter PAC during the 2020 United States general election were successful, and the organization specifically singled out U.S. Representatives Cori Bush (D-MO), Jamaal Bowman (D-NY), and Nikema Williams (D-GA) “for winning on a platform that invested in Black lives.” Black Lives Matter PAC also participated in the 2021 Georgia Senate runoff elections “to ensure both Reverend Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff were victorious.”
Black Lives Matter PAC utilizes the fundraising services of ActBlue to process donations on its website.
From October 9, 2020, through December 31, 2020, Black Lives Matter PAC raised $1.05 million. It spent $746,000 during the 2020 U.S. general election and the 2021 Georgia Senate runoff elections.
Black Lives Matter PAC has two other associations:
Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation (BLM Global Network Foundation) is the primary organizational outgrowth of the more decentralized Black Lives Matter movement. According to an Associated Press report from February 2021, BLM Global Network Foundation was granted tax-exempt status by the IRS in December 2020. Prior to that, it was a fiscally-sponsored project first of Thousand Currents, and later of the Tides Center, an affiliate of the Tides Foundation, a major left-of-center donor-advised fund. BLM Global Network Foundation is affiliated with the Black Lives Matter PAC and with Black Lives Matter Grassroots.
The organization has been criticized for its advocacy of radical-left policies like defunding the police. The lack of transparency in its finances and operations has also attracted substantial scrutiny. Since co-founder Patrisse Cullors stepped down from her position as the group’s executive director in May 2021, it has been unclear who leads BLM Global Network Foundation.
Black Lives Matter Grassroots (Non-profit)
Black Lives Matter Grassroots is a Black Lives Matter movement organization affiliated with the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation. It is led by activist Melina Abdullah, which functions as an assembly of some official Black Lives Matter chapters.