House GOP Leadership PACs Snub Conservatives

House GOP Leadership PACs Snub Conservatives

Many conservatives on Capitol Hill find themselves left out in the cold by the current leadership when it comes to receiving campaign donations from leadership PACs. 

CBS’ 60 Minutes aired an investigative report on Sunday by Steve Kroft who interviewed Government Accountability Institute (GAI) President and Breitbart News Senior Editor-at-Large Peter Schweizer which revealed how politicians on the hill abuse their leadership PACs by spending lavishly on themselves. However, when it comes to applying PAC money for its original proposed use of campaign contributions, some members can be downright stingy with their PAC donations.

The Center for Responsive Politics reported in early October that House Republican Leadership has raised a massive amount of funds through their various PACs. However, according to Open Secrets, twenty conservative Republican members, who The New York Times identified as a constant “thorn” in Boehner’s side, received very little if nothing at all from these leadership PACs and the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) during the 2012 election cycle. 

Most of these 20 Republicans were initially elected without the help of the NRCC, so they do not owe the Republican leadership much. However, it should be noted that every member of the Party has an assessment they are required to raise for the NRCC, but not every member gets money from the NRCC for their campaigns. Open Secrets notes the pattern of this giving is continuing into 2013:

That fact is particularly striking because in the first six months of 2013, Cantor gave away $875,000 to other candidates through his leadership PAC, ERIC PAC. That’s a record: No leadership PAC has ever given as much to candidates in the first six months of an election cycle. So far in the 2014 cycle, ERIC PAC has given money to 122 other House Republicans, but only eight members of the group of dissidents have received any cash from Cantor this cycle. Altogether those eight received $55,000 from Cantor’s PAC. (A full list of donations from Cantor and other members of the leadership to the 20 is below.)

Boehner, whose leadership PAC, the Freedom Project, has given out $213,000 to 39 candidates this cycle, gave to just one member of this group of 20: Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), who received $5,000. 

The other top members of the House Republican leadership follow the same pattern. House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has given just $7,500 combined to two of the 20 (his leadership PAC has given a total of $155,000 to 38 members). Deputy Whip Peter Roskam (R-Ill.) has given $71,000 to other candidates this cycle, but no money to these 20.

In the meantime, House conservatives who were snubbed by leadership and their PACs are refusing to raise money for the NRCC in the 2014. “Here at the NRCC we continue to exceed our internal goals and beat our own records thanks to the hard work our dedicated members are putting into growing the Republican majority,” Andrea Bozek, an NRCC spokeswoman, told Politico. 

She added, “Speaker John Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, NRCC Chairman Greg Walden and the rest of our leadership team in the House have personally put in extraordinary time and effort to ensure that Republicans have the resources necessary to go up against the Obama-Pelosi machine.”


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