The Tea Party Grift: PAC's Collect Money Without Spending It On Candidates

It appears the tea party leaders and their PAC's are grifting their rubes out of a lot of money. Who would have thunk it?
The Tea Party Grift: PAC's Collect Money Without Spending It On Candidates

Well, well, well. It appears the tea party leaders are grifting their rubes out of a lot of money. Who would have thunk it? Look what the Washington Post found out about the tea party PACs.

A Washington Post analysis found that some of the top national tea party groups engaged in this year’s midterm elections have put just a tiny fraction of their money directly into boosting the candidates they’ve endorsed.

The practice is not unusual in the freewheeling world of big-money political groups, but it runs counter to the ethos of the tea party movement, which sprouted five years ago amid anger on the right over wasteful government spending. And it contrasts with the urgent appeals tea party groups have made to their base of small donors, many of whom repeatedly contribute after being promised that their money will help elect conservative politicians.

Out of the $37.5 million spent so far by the PACs of six major tea party organizations, less than $7 million has been devoted to directly helping candidates, according to the analysis, which was based on campaign finance data provided by theSunlight Foundation. The dearth of election spending has left many favored tea party candidates exposed before a series of pivotal GOP primaries next month in North Carolina, Nebraska, Idaho and Kentucky.

Roughly half of the money — nearly $18 million — has gone to pay for fundraising and direct mail, largely provided by Washington-area firms. Meanwhile, tea party leaders and their family members have been paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in consulting fees, while their groups have doled out large sums for airfare, a retirement plan and even interior decorating.

Read on for all the grisly details.

As everyone knows, I'm part of the Blue America PAC and we've collected millions of dollars over the years for our endorsed candidates, but Howie, Digby and myself have never taken a dime of the money. I'm not saying people working in PAC's shouldn't be paid at, but when you look at those numbers you know they are getting rich off the PAC's while not coming close to doing what they say they are with the monies they are collecting.


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