Black Lives Matter is a collective of organizations that sprung up around the country after a series of incidents of controversial police and private gun-owner shootings of African-Americans that have been legally determined to be justified. It has been labeled a hate group by some conservatives and quite nearly has been blamed by the  FBI director for emboldening criminals and cowing cops. And now, it includes a political action committee, as defined by the Federal Election Commission.

Like many, many other PACs, the group will raise funds from the public and make $5,000 donations to federal candidates (to see full list of limits click here), use those dollars to bolster the campaigns of those who share its policy priorities and extract real or figurative promises from those who accept the funds to advance the group's political priorities. PACs can also operate independently of a candidate (this is where that no-coordination rule comes in) to do things like register voters or run ads that aim to bring particular issues and perspectives on those issues to the public's attention.

Records procured by the Washington Post indicate that Kenny Murdock, a radio show host and one-time aide to former Missouri secretary of state Robin Carnahan (D) and a group of activists in the St. Louis area sent paperwork to the FEC to formally register the organization as a PAC. The group submitted documents to this effect in September (you can view them here). Murdock's name does not appear on the form, but his e-mail address does. And he's told reporters with blogs and liberal information-peddling organizations such as Think Progress that he is involved.

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