Retiring Senators Holding More Than $5 Million in Accounts
Posted at 4:08 p.m. on Feb. 25
Senators leaving Congress at the end of this year currently hold $5,334,251 in their campaign accounts and leadership PACs.
Campaign committees may use the funds for any lawful purpose, but the funds cannot be converted to personal use. Some members donate the funds to non-profits, charities, educational institutions, political parties, other candidates (within limits), or refund contributions to the original donors. Or they could leave the funds in the campaign account, and keep it going for years.
Leadership PACs of members of Congress are not restricted as much as campaign committees. There is no prohibition on the use of leadership PAC funds for personal use. The Federal Election Commission has recommended that the prohibition of the personal use of campaign funds be extended to apply to all political committees, including leadership PACs.
Here are the January 1, 2014, cash on hand figures for those Senators leaving at the end of this year:
Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, $2,325,281 cash in campaign; $53,214 cash in PAC.
Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., $992,415 in campaign; $274,199 in PAC.
Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., $819,553 in campaign; $77,629 in PAC.
Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., $331,914 in campaign; $0 in PAC.
Sen. Mike Johanns, R-Neb., $157,471 in campaign; $0 in PAC.
Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., $121,856 in campaign; no PAC.
Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., $101,986 in campaign; $78,733 in PAC. Announced resignation at end of 2014.
The $10 million in cash balances of retiring House members were listed in an earlier posting. Retirement announcements since then include:
Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash., $409,383 in campaign with $45,100 in debts; $30,994 in PAC.
Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., $331,367 cash in campaign; $31,276 cash in PAC.
Rep. Rush Holt, D-N.J., $309,356 in campaign; $18,190 in PAC.