Controversial activist Shaun King’s progressive political action committee paid a California breeder more than $40,000 for a hulking guard dog — but he apparently returned the powerful pooch because it had “too much energy,” according to a report Monday.
The Grassroots Law PAC made a pair of payments to Potrero Performance Dogs that included a $10,000 “contractor deposit” on Dec. 6, Federal Election Commission Records show.
About two months later, the PAC — which seeks to “end oppressive policing, incarceration and injustice” — paid Potrero another $30,650, the records show.
Within days, King posted on Facebook that he’d welcomed a “new member of the King family” — a mastiff named “Marz,” the Washington Free Beacon said.
King’s post, which is no longer publicly accessible, said Marz would serve double-duty providing “alertness and protection” and as a family pet, according to the Free Beacon.
But another since-deleted post on Potrero’s Instagram page earlier this month reportedly showed the dog at an American Kennel Club competition where it won “Best in Show,” with the breeder noting that “he’s got a little too much energy to be a family dog so he came back.”
According to Potrero’s website, it specializes in breeding Cane Corsos, an Italian breed of mastiff which the AKC says trace their lineage to ancient Rome, where the dogs were used as bodyguards.
The “intimidating creatures” stand nearly 28 inches at the shoulder and often weigh more than 100 pounds, “with a large head, alert expression, and muscles rippling beneath their short, stiff coat,” according to the AKC.
The $40,000-plus that Grassroots Law PAC apparently spent on Marz is nearly equal to the $56,000 in contributions it made to non-federal political candidates in 2021, according to the Free Beacon.
Grassroots Law PAC is an arm of the Grassroots Law Project, which King co-founded with civil rights lawyer Lee Merritt, according to its website.
“This luxury dog expense may not be illegal for a PAC, but it shows little respect for King’s donors,” Scott Walter of the Capital Research Center think tank told the Free Beacon.
King, who made a name for himself amid the emergence of the Black Lives Matter movement, has repeatedly faced scrutiny over his fundraising efforts and financial dealings, including being accused of soliciting money in the name of 12-year-old police shooting victim Tamir Rice without his mother’s permission.
“Personally I don’t understand how you sleep at night,” grieving mom Samaria Rice wrote on Instagram last year.
Rice also called King — who lives in a lavish, lakefront home in New Jersey — “a selfish self-centered person” and warned that “God will deal with you.”
In 2019, King arranged for a “team of experts” to review the $34.5 million he’d raised since the Black Lives Matter movement began and gave them “an unfettered look at his finances,” according to a post on the Medium website.
“In short, we find absolutely no evidence that Shaun has ever inappropriately accessed any funds that he has raised,” the Shaun King Financial Review Board wrote.
“We searched and we asked. Not one single family, charity, cause or campaign said Shaun was ever compensated, directly, or indirectly, for his online fundraising.”
Neither King, representatives of the Grassroots Law PAC nor Alexia Potrero of Potrero Performance Dogs returned requests for comment.
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