Well, if you could unhook my jacket from the horns of this dilemma, I’d know whether to be exceptionally happy or weary and watchful.
Anyone can set up a PAC. You don’t need the candidate to do it. Ready For Hillary is a PAC. Whoever owns that PAC did not need Hillary’s permission to use her name. They collect money that people assume goes to Hillary. Not all of it does.
The good news is that greedy Republicans are ripping each other off in a grand style and they are using PACs to do it.
A Republican decided to look at some of their PACs to see if they were actually helping candidates. Some are, others not so much. They estimate that $50 million was collected and never spent on campaigns or elections.
For example, nearly $14 million was raised by The National Draft Bend Carson for President PAC. Of that, only 4%, $530,000 went to actually help Ben Carson or his campaign.
Same deal with SarahPAC. Sarah only got 7% of the $3 million they raised.
There’s a nifty chart with the rest they looked at. It’s about half way down this page.
And here’s the scary part: we probably don’t know the worst of it.
We also found quite a few PACS that made large payments to vendors who were owned by people who worked for the PAC. This certainly can be done for legitimate purposes, but it’s also an easy way to move money around while keeping your donors from seeing what you’re actually doing with it. For example, this is done in some cases to obscure how much people at the PAC are really making. The Senate Conservatives Fund and American Crossroads appear to have done that. However, it can also be a way for PACs to siphon off money. If a PAC officer pays a vendor he owns, he doesn’t have to report what the vendor did with it to the FEC, which means nobody really knows what happens to the money.
Now why would this worry me if Republicans are getting ripped off?
Because it’s likely that it is happening to Democrats, too.
Be real careful who you give your money to.
Thank to Alfredo over at the Dairy Queen for the cynical heads up.