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Posted at 10:12 a.m. on Oct. 18, 2013
In the month before the government shutdown, a member of Congress who was not regularly in the headlines, used his leadership PAC to move $80,000 to 15 House members on key standing committees that could help him achieve his personal and legislative goals.
Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., chairman of the House Budget Committee, used his leadership PAC, Prosperity Action Inc., to contribute $100,000 to candidates during September. Eighty thousand dollars went to 15 members of Congress and a total of $20,000 went to three challengers seeking election in 2014. The PAC raised $152,365 in September and has $724,899 cash on hand as of 9/30.
Leadership PACs are a common vehicle for building relationships with other members of Congress. One way to do that is to give other members of Congress something they always want – campaign contributions, even if they don’t really need them for their next campaign. The key is to give the member money before you might need to ask a favor. Continued methodical giving over the years builds an even stronger relationship.
About half the members of Congress have leadership PACs and members of both parties find they are easier to utilize for a broad range of purposes, some far from campaigning in their districts. Many of the donors are Washington lobbyists and interest groups, and few hometown media organizations report on them regularly. Funds are often spent on expenses for fundraising (such as meals and entertainment), travel, building donor lists, and giving contributions to other members and new candidates.
Through the end of August, Rep. Paul Ryan’s Prosperity Action Inc. had given out $182,500 to candidates and committees. View summary. In 2013, the PAC had already given $149,258 to members of his Budget Committee. In the full 2011-2012 cycle, the PAC had receipts of $4.9 million and gave out $1,011,029 to candidates and committees.
Ryan’s Prosperity Action PAC reported yesterday it’s September contributions went to five members who are on the House Energy & Commerce Committee including $10,000 to Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-La.; $5,000 to Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Ohio; $5,000 to Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-IL.; $5,000 to Rep. Leonard Lance, R-N.J.; and $5,000 Rep. Lee Terry, R-Neb.
The PAC also gave $5,000 each to four members of the House Armed Services Committee, including Rep. John Kline, R-Minn.; Rep. Scott Rigell, R-Va.; Rep. Vicky Hartzler, R-Mo.; and Rep. Jon Runyan, R-N.J.
The PAC gave $5,000 each to two members of his House Budget Committee, including Rep. Scott Rigell, R-Va., and Rep. Vicky Hartzler, R-Mo.
The PAC gave $5,000 each to two members of the House Appropriations Committee, including Rep. Tom Latham, R-Iowa, and Rep. Michael Simpson, R-Idaho.
The PAC gave $5,000 each to two members of the House Ways & Means Committee, including Rep. Jim Renacci, R-Ohio, and Rep. Tom Reed, R-N.Y.
The PAC gave $5,000 each to two members of the House Financial Services Committee, including Rep. Gary Miller, R-Calif., and Rep. Michael Grimm, R-N.Y.
The PAC gave $5,000 each to two members of the House Agriculture Committee, including Rep. Daniel Benishek, R-Mich., and Rep. Vicky Hartzler, R-Mo.
The PAC also gave $5,000 to former Rep. Bobby Schilling, R-Ill., who is a candidate in 2014; $5,000 to candidate Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y.; and $10,000 to candidate Mia Love, R-Utah.
Note: Members may sit on several committees.
View Political MoneyLine’s database of all leadership PACs.
To search detailed money-in-politics databases, visit Political MoneyLine.