Yes, you read that right. Our junior US senator has launched his leadership PAC — and it is already passing out the bucks. According to an FEC filing, the PAC has at least 50 donors and has handed out cash to the following lucky recipients: Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI), Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), and Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO). Talk about a pack of Mitch-bots.
Leadership PACs gained notoriety with the release of Peter Schweizer’s book Extortion and an accompanying 60 Minutes feature. They’re not illegal, but are certainly sleazy. Lobbyists contribute to them for the purpose of winning influence with lawmakers. Lawmakers donate to each other via their leadership PACs in order to curry favor with their colleagues and further any future political ambitions they may have.
You don’t have to disclose the donors. And the money in these PACs can be used for just about anything. It’s not unusual for Tillis to have one of these. Kay Hagan had one. So do most of the other senators and representatives on the Hill.