WASHINGTON – While some super PACs supporting Republican presidential candidates are reporting fundraising hauls in the tens of millions of dollars, a super PAC created by two plugged-in Minnesota Republicans to maintain GOP control of the House of Representatives has so far reported lackluster fundraising.
The Congressional Leadership Fund (read more about it here) raised just $130,000 since opening for business in October, according to the report the political action committee filed Tuesday with the Federal Election Commission. Its founders include former Minnesota Senator Norm Coleman and former Rep. Vin Weber, who both now work as lobbyists in Washington, DC.
Unlike regular political action committees, super PACs can raise and spend unlimited funds.
Of the money raised by this group, much came in the form of in-kind contributions from the American Action Network, another outside group founded by Coleman that played a big role in the 2010 midterm election. Other donors appear to be primarily lobbyists and trade associations. So far, none of the group’s expenditures have been on campaign ads or House races.
The low haul is surprising insofar as the super PAC’s inaugural fundraiser included appearances by top members of the House Republican leadership, including Speaker John Boehner. While the group is legally independent of the GOP and not supposed to coordinate with party’s campaign committees, its chief political strategist served in the same role for House Republican campaign committee in 2010.
In a January interview, Coleman said he launched the fund as a response to a similar vehicle created by Democrats, the House Majority PAC. That group has raised $3 million and been running ads in numerous districts nationwide, including ads targeted at first-term Minnesota Republican Rep. Chip Cravaack.