Columbus Dispatch: Politicians’ leadership PACs help boost clout
Meredith McGehee, policy director of the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center, said that by donating to other candidates, lawmakers can gain more clout. But such funds also are sometimes used to allow lawmakers to supplement their own lifestyles.
Campaign accounts, she said, have strict rules forbidding lawmakers from using the money for personal reasons. Leadership PACs — which can’t be used for bona fide campaign purposes — have “almost no rules,” she said. ...
McGehee said members can use the PACs to manipulate their campaign funds. Some will urge D.C. lobbyists to donate to their leadership PAC so the bulk of donations to those funds are from donors in their own state. That sends a message to voters: My support comes from voters at home.
“It provides you with another pocket,” she said.
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