Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
September 24, 2014

Tea Party Funds Given to Sen. McConnell

Although tea party favorites Sen. Ted Cruz and Sen. Mike Lee declined this week to endorse the re-election effort of Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., they had been part of a joint effort with McConnell in May to raise funds from tea party supporters that netted McConnell $13,450.

A national tea party committee, the Tea Party Leadership Fund (formerly known as the TeaParty.Net Leadership Fund), a hybrid PAC with a noncontribution account, based in Alexandria, Va., contributed $40,000 in May to In Defense of Free Speech JFC, a joint fundraising committee set up in May. The $53,800 in proceeds were split between four candidates, with each getting $13,450. The candidates were McConnell, Cruz, Lee and John Cornyn, R-Texas. The McConnell Senate Committee ’14 was sent $10,950 on June 29 and $2,500 on June 25.

The Tea Party Leadership Fund reported it raised $517,644 and spent $496,076 from May 1 to June 30, leaving $144,482 cash on hand as of June 30. Contributors giving $200 or less gave $479,942. Their fundraising total for the first six months of the year is unknown since the committee has not filed a report covering April. In the first quarter of the year the committee raised $548,315.

From May 1 to June 30, the committee spent $180,942 on fundraising; $72,840 on telemarketing; $28,832 on marketing; $27,754 on legal; services; $20,000 on a charitable contribution to the Coolidge Reagan Foundation; $20,618 on online advertising and fundraising; among others. The committee gave $5,000 each to Rob Maness, R-La., and Rep. Steve Daines, R-Mont., and $1,000 each to Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Kan. and Rep. Robert Pittenger, R-N.C.

In 2011-2012, the Tea Party Leadership Fund raised $1.2 million and contributed $57,500 to candidates and spent $154,172 on independent expenditures.

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