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Tab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 06:55 PM
Original message
Senators' lesser-known pot of money
Source: Concord (NH) Monitor

When it comes to money in politics, candidates' campaign accounts tend to grab the spotlight.

But many established politicians throughout the nation, including New Hampshire Sens. John Sununu and Judd Gregg, have an additional, lesser-known pot of money. These accounts - called leadership political action committees - serve a different purpose than campaign accounts: They're designed to distribute money to other candidates and political committees, and candidates are barred from using their leadership PACs to directly advance their own campaigns.

To their critics, leadership PACs are simply another way for politicians to raise money, further boosting their campaigns. While donors can't give more than $2,300 to a political campaign for each election, they can donate up to $5,000 annually to a leadership PAC, according to Paul Ryan, an attorney at the nonprofit Campaign Legal Center.

"I think it's an abuse and a circumvention of our existing campaign contribution limits," Ryan said.

According to a compilation of leadership PAC fundraising and spending - conducted by the American Public Media radio show Marketplace - dozens of politicians have raised and distributed more money through their leadership PACs from December 2004 to December 2007 than Sununu and Gregg did. In addition to contributions to other candidates' campaigns, various candidates' leadership PAC money has paid for ski trips, limousines and parties, according to the Marketplace investigation

In New Hampshire, there are three candidates and politicians with leadership PACs, according to FEC filings: Republicans Sununu and Gregg and former Republican congressman Jeb Bradley, who is running to reclaim his seat after losing to Democrat Carol Shea-Porter in 2006.

Gregg and Sununu's leadership PACs have each taken in hundreds of thousands of dollars in recent years, with much of the money coming from corporate PACs such as the Eli Lilly political action committee and the American Bankers Association PAC. Lobbyists and individuals also contribute to the PACs. Bradley's leadership PAC is far smaller


Much of the money Sununu and Gregg raised for their leadership PACs has gone to New Hampshire candidates and political committees and to candidates from other states seeking federal office.

"It increases their influence with other candidates," said Wayne Lesperance, associate professor of political science at New England College. "It's a way to set themselves up for future office, (for) committee assignments."

The "bigger story," Lesperance said, "is that the average person has no idea that these things are out there."

Read more:

I never even knew there was such a thing as a "Leadship PAC".

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Runcible Spoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 07:03 PM
Response to Original message
1. PAC's are ways of hiding corporate money
A very common trick; both Obama and McCain have them and disburse funds through them.

Thanks for posting this, more people should be aware especially when they are posting about campaign finance reform issues.
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Indenturedebtor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 08:34 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. No doubt. K+R
What a crooked bunch of slimes eh?
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Tab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 09:10 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. Sure, that's not new, but what the hell's a "Leadership" PAC?

Separate set of rules???

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spag68 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 10:07 PM
Response to Original message
4. Let me see if I get this
Senator A has his funders give 5000$ to Senator B's leadership pac. Then Senator B has his funders give 5000$ to Senator A's leadership pac. Ok got that so far? Then they swap the money and everyone is happy.
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