PLANK AUGUST 6, 2012
Strange and Small Super PACs regrettably skipped a week, so today’s roundup is a mere sampling of the latest super PACs to get in the game. An unusual number are mystery PACs—committees that, because of a quirk in FEC laws, can burn a lot of cash before we find out whose cash it was in the first place.
And then there’s Herman Cain. We try to stay away from spending in the presidential race, but really, who can resist the return of 9-9-9?
Herman Cain may have long faded from your memory, but not from his supporters’. After shutting down his campaign and his original super PAC, the 9-9-9 Fund, Cain established a new one, Cain Connections PAC, endowed it with the leftovers from 9-9-9, and started raising money again. To date, the PAC has raised more than $1 million (albeit with some debts and obligations), for a man who hasn’t been running for public office for half a year.
What’s Cain done with all that green? Well, besides giving an awful lot of money—more than $60,000 in a single quarter—to his personal company, Cain Solutions Inc., (what was formerly the PAC’s website, CainConnections.com, now automatically reroutes to CainSolutionsRevolutions.com; browsers are encouraged about six different ways to buy 9-9-9: An Army of Davids, co-authored by Cain and Rich Lowrie, the Wells Fargo employee who first crafted the 9-9-9 tax plan), the Cain Connections PAC has spent about $76,000 on a direct mail campaign against Barack Obama.
Supported primarily by Teresa Ann Hoefl, a North Carolina business owner, with a little help from the Family Research Council, this PAC spent about $21,000 on Internet, billboards, and radio ads against Obama in D.C. and North Carolina, in a single day in late July.
Some of Missouri’s biggest spenders are unloading hundreds of thousands to determine who will challenge Senator Claire McCaskill come November. Now Or Never’s favored candidate is the Sarah Palin-anointed Sarah Steelman. The super PAC has spent nearly $175,000 in ads supporting her—and a whopping half-a-million against her self-funded competitor, John Brunner.
A mystery PAC, South Floridians for Effective Leadership’s FEC filings don’t offer any clues as to how much money the PAC has raised or who is funding it. So far, it’s spent $13,000 or so on direct mail against Kristin Jacobs, a Democratic primary candidate for Congress in Florida.
Two donors have given this super PAC a total of $10,000. At least, that’s all the PAC has reported so far to the FEC. How the Conservative Values Project has spent more than $120,000 on ads supporting Trey Radel, a Republican Florida Congressional candidate and media personality who may have profited from the sale of racy-to-sexist domain names, is as yet unclear.