It looks like some prominent conservatives are starting to catch on the proliferation of PACs that are little more than scams designed to line the pockets of the founders and the vendors, consultants and family members they’re associated with. Right Wing News actually commissioned a study and found a whole lot of them, including Sarah Palin’s PAC.
On a personal note, even though I had heard a lot of anecdotal stories and had read what other news organizations had to say, I have to admit that I was shocked by how bad the numbers are for many of these groups. One of the things I realized while I was putting this report together is that perhaps the biggest reason grassroots candidates have been having trouble breaking through in recent years is because such a large percentage of the money that was intended for them is being siphoned off to vendors, wasted, and just plain old pocketed by people in these PACs.
This is a wide scale problem that is unquestionably having an enormous negative impact on the conservative movement and it desperately needs to be addressed in a real and serious way. Hopefully, this report will be the start of that process…How many conservative candidates lost in 2014 because of a lack of funds? How many of them came up short in primaries, lost winnable seats or desperately tried to fight off better-funded challengers? How much of a difference would another 50 million dollars have made last year? That’s a very relevant question because the 10 PACs at the bottom of this list spent $54,318,498 and only paid out $3,621,896 to help get Republicans elected. If that same $54,318,498 had gone to the Club for Growth Action PAC and it had been as efficient with it as it was with the money it had, $47,800,278 would have gone to Republican candidates instead of the meager $3,621,896 that those candidates received from those 10 PACs during this cycle. The conservative movement has a right to expect more than this from the PACs that are representing it.
I wonder if there is a similar problem with some of the big liberal PACs. I doubt this is confined just to the right.