Linda Chavez's PAC Scheme

Back in 2001, Republican activist Linda Chavez was Bush’s first choice to serve as Secretary of Labor, looking out for the interests of working people nationwide. She ran into a little trouble when the White House learned that Chavez failed tell the Bush gang about housing a Guatemalan woman whom she hired illegally to clean her house, and then encouraged a neighbor not to talk about the cleaning woman to the FBI when agents asked questions during her background check. Oops.

But never fear, this was a temporary setback for Chavez, who has built a successful network of political action committees. The problem, as the WaPo reported in a fascinating front-page expose today, is that Chavez’s PACs don’t appear to do anything — except raise money.

In the years since she was forced to pull her nomination as Bush’s labor secretary after admitting payments to an illegal immigrant, Chavez and her immediate family members have used phone banks and direct-mail solicitations to raise tens of millions of dollars, founding several political action committees with bankable names: the Republican Issues Committee, the Latino Alliance, Stop Union Political Abuse and the Pro-Life Campaign Committee. Their solicitations promise direct action in the “fight to save unborn lives,” a vigorous struggle against “big labor bosses” and a crippling of “liberal politics in the country.”

That’s not where the bulk of the money wound up being spent, however.

Josh Marshall has more.


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