Pro-Israel PAC betting on both Berman and Sherman

The Washington PAC, a pro-Israel group founded by lobbyist Morris J. Amitay, will hold a luncheon for Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.) and donate the legal maximum to his campaign, despite having already made the same donation to his opponent, Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.).

The two Jewish Democrats were pitted against each other by redistricting and are battling in the Democratic primary to have a shot at holding on to the new district. Washington PAC has already donated $5,000 to Sherman, and will now do the same for Berman, according to an invitation to the Feb. 7 event obtained by The Hill.

“This is the only time in our 30-year history that we are contributing to both sides of a race, since both candidates deserve it,” the PAC wrote in the invitation.

Washington PAC has a history of donating to pro-Israel politicians from both parties, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission. In 2011, the PAC contributed to Republican Sens. Scott Brown (Mass.) and Mark Kirk (Ill.), and to Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.). On the Democratic side, the PAC gave to Reps. Steve Rothman (N.J.), Steny Hoyer (Md.) and Shelley Berkely (Nev.).

Amitay, the PAC’s founder and treasurer, is a former executive director of The American Israel Public Affairs Committee and worked in the 1970s for former Sen. Abraham Ribicoff (D-Conn.).

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