Coming up with names for political action committees is among the odder dark arts practiced in Washington, DC. Unlike most branding excercises, naming a PAC is not about finding a name that’s descriptive or catchy. Rather it’s about finding a name that most people will read right past. As Nicko Margolies of the Sunlight Foundation writes, “These names are so agreeable, so reasonable, so inclusive, so damned American and yet their names reveal nothing about who funded these groups. It could be your coworkers, a couple billionaires, a band of small business owners, a gaggle of big corporations or maybe that nice fellow who says hello every morning. You just don’t know.” And that’s how we wound up with hundreds of political fundraising groups with anodyne names like Alliance for America’s Future, Progress, Vision & Commitment, Invest in a Strong and Secure America, and Beacuse I Care PAC. (There are some amusing exceptions, such as Lousiana Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu’s Jazz PAC and House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s PAC to the Future).
So what would you call your shadowy fundraising organization? The Sunlight Foundation has just released this fun widget that generates 28,000 different imaginary PAC names. (My favorites so far: A P.O. Box for America’s Founding Fathers, Households for America the Beautiful, and Vampires for Prosperity.) Give it a spin: