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Aug 06 2013

Bachmann’s PAC Buried in Legal Fees

Like most prominent politicians, Michele Bachmann has a “leadership PAC” that makes contributions to others in the Republican party. That’s how they gain influence over their colleagues and do favors that must be repaid. But Bachmann’s PAC is now little more than a legal defense fund.

In 2010, Bachmann registered the Many Individual Conservatives Helping Elect Leaders Everywhere political action committee (MICHELE PAC) with the Federal Election Commission. In 2012, the PAC raised more than $1.2 million from supporters. More than $100,000 of that went to conservative Republican candidates for U.S. House and Senate. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is reportedly investigating whether some of the money was also improperly spent to pay the national political director of her unsuccessful 2012 presidential campaign.

But a ThinkProgress analysis of campaign finance data reveals that, so far this year, the PAC has done almost nothing that would qualify as “political action.” Between January 1 and June 30, the committee reported raising nearly $300,000 and has spent more than $250,000. Of that, just 0.16 percent — a $400 contribution to a former staffer running for Mahaska County Supervisor in Oskaloosa, Iowa — went to the PAC’s alleged purpose of “helping elect leaders everywhere.”

Where did the rest of the money go? More than $58,000 went to legal fees — unsurprising given the legal imbroglio, but hardly helpful to her political cause. About $170,000 went to telemarketing, direct mailing, list rental, credit card fees, and other expenses associated with fundraising. The rest went to accounting and other overhead.

I suspect that all those legal investigations are going to hit her hard. I think that’s why she decided not to run again.

10 comments

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  1. 1
    John Pieret

    Chickens, meet roost.

  2. 2
    Alverant

    I just hope the investigation continues and they don’t stop just because she said she won’t run again. If she committed a crime (and it looks like she did) then she should be brought up on charges.

  3. 3
    Mr Ed

    Change the numbers and the name and you have Sarah Palin’s PAC. PT Barnum would be proud

  4. 4
    dingojack

    John Pieret – I mis-read the last word in your post as ‘roast’, which leads me to:
    Is Michele’s goose cooked?
    :) Dingo

  5. 5
    raven

    AFAICT, the GOP is throwing Bachmann under the bus.

    No one has really stepped up to support her or defend her.

    She makes them look bad and costs them millions of dollars. She outspent her opponent 10 to 1 last election and barely won.

  6. 6
    John Pieret

    Dingo:

    John Pieret – I mis-read the last word in your post as ‘roast’, which leads me to:
    Is Michele’s goose cooked?

    Well, at least her foie is gras.

  7. 7
    iangould

    PACs are largely a grift now it seems.

    I wonder how much of those “overheads” went to no-show jobs for friends and relatives; “consulting services” provided by her husband’s counseling service and other dodgy deals with related entities?

  8. 8
    democommie

    Is there a firewall between the PAC and Missy’s campaign war chest? IOW can the money she’s sitting on be confiscated via court order so she can’t waltz off into her KKKristianist sunset with the moolah?

  9. 9
    busterggi

    After she’s been proven to be a sleeze legally she’ll have a press conference where she’ll cry and repent her sins which will allow her to come back even stronger becaus her Christian fundie base just loves them repentent sinners.

  10. 10
    raven

    PACs are largely a grift now it seems.

    I wonder how much of those “overheads” went to no-show jobs for friends and relatives; “consulting services” provided by her husband’s counseling service and other dodgy deals with related entities?

    Not a problem.

    High end car makers, private jet manufacturers, and jewelers need to eat too.

    The USA would be way ahead if all that money is siphoned off. Please, make it so. It’s a far better that way than if they actually spend their money trashing the USA.

    (This assumes the Democrats aren’t quite so greedy. I realize this might be a fond hope rather than realistic.)

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