Can a Super PAC of Black Fraternity Brothers Register a Million Voters for Obama?

1911 United aims to get a million voters in seven battleground states to re-elect President Obama.

By Aura Bogado Sep 07, 2012

When two historically black fraternities celebrated their 100th year anniversary, the members asked themselves what they could do to show their appreciation to the community that had supported them for a past century–and they decided they could help people re-elect Barack Obama. That’s what Sinclair Skinner tells me as he leans back at the driver’s seat on the massive 1911 United bus. Sinclair, the group’s treasurer, says that because fraternities are limited by their 501C(7) status, members wanted to take advantage of the Citizens United ruling to get out the vote. So they formed a Super PAC.

The bus is making its rounds in predominantly black neighborhoods in the seven swing states of Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, and Colorado. For Sinclair and the half-a-dozen people on the bus, the goal is to recruit 1,000 volunteers to get 100 people to register, and vote to re-elect Barack Obama. The Super PAC has a modest budget: some $90,000 have been raised so far, and that counts for about half of what 1911 United hopes to raise before the election. We caught up with Sinclair Skinner as the bus made its round in the streets of Uptown Charlotte.

Frank Reynolds in a video producer at The Nation.