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Ridiculous politics: ’80s pop band or Super PAC?

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Nothing highlights the ridiculousness of modern-day politics better than satire. A 2015 version of that means deciphering between some silly pop culture genre or theme and a political one. It’s this mentality that gave us the nuggets of awesome that were “Who said it, Donald Trump or Ron Burgundy” or a similar one picking out quotes from both the Donald and Lucille Bluthe from Arrested Development.

Now, in order to highlight just how utterly stupid most Super PAC names are, there is this one: Is it an ’80s band or a Super PAC? And ladies and gents, this one is hard.

I scored an eight out of 12 and was told that I either know a lot about ’80s bands or Super PACs but, certainly, not both. Thankfully it’s the latter I’m more familiar with.

I went 0 for 2 straight out of the gate guessing that Progressive Kick and Unintimidated were ’80s bands. Nope and nope.

Progressive Kick is apparently a Bernie Sanders Super PAC that has already raised $1 million while Unintimidated has doled out $1 million on Scott Walker, who has since withdrawn from the race.

Embarrassingly enough I guessed USA for Africa was a Super PAC forgetting that’s the allstar line-up of pop stars who put together “We Are the World” in 1985 with musicians like Michael Jackson, Tina Turner, Billy Joel, Lionel Richie, Paul Simon and Stevie Wonder.

My final “whoops” was on Maverick. It didn’t sound like much of a name for a Super PAC, but alas, it is. Ted Cruz was one of the “platform for engaging the next generation of American leaders in business and politics” PAC’s founders. While that PAC hasn’t officially endorsed a GOP candidate, one of its top donors is Rooney Holdings, who has also contributed to another PAC that supports Jeb Bush.

Other PACs listed in the quiz include the Madison Project, a group organized in 1994 to promote conservatism. They haven’t spent money on any campaigns yet this season, but does sell “Choose Cruz” t-shirts on its website.

There’s also the Correct the Record PAC, serving to dispel anti-Hillary Clinton propaganda. That PAC has raised a total of $1.4 million so far, according to the quiz.

Giant Steps sounds like a reasonable pit for dark money, but it’s just an ’80s pop band with the 1988 hit “Another Lover.”

The band behind the karaoke sensation “Don’t you want me,” The Human League, is also listed. A PAC by that name might work to establish world peace or something of the sort.

Other ’80s pop bands mentioned that sounded vaguely Super PAC-ish include the German band Modern Talking, Eye to Eye and the masterminds behind Revenge of the Nerds’ “Are you Ready for the Sex Girls,” Gleaming Spires.

Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email

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