Guilty, Unethical, Is Not Telling All PAC

As Pindell first reported, Congressman Frank Guinta has filed documents with the Federal Election Commission to form a leadership political action committee.

The PAC will allow Guinta to raise additional campaign contributions from individuals and lobbyists. Leadership PAC funds are then generally funneled to other candidates and organizations to win friends and influence people.

The Center for Responsive Politics notes, however, that the rules governing leadership PACs are not strict. The funds can be used to dine in fine restaurants, travel around the country, hire additional staff or lay the groundwork for higher office.

Guinta imaginatively named his PAC, Guinta PAC. As is the norm, the name is an acronym: Getting Us Involved Now Transitioning America PAC.

Given Guinta’s ethical lapses — he was named one of the most corrupt members of Congress by the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington — I have another suggestion: Guilty, Unethical, Is Not Telling All PAC.

Bass’ 2nd Quarter Fundraising Details

2nd District Congressman Charlie Bass raised $310,373 in campaign contributions for the second quarter. His likely opponent in the general election, Democrat Ann Kuster, raised $367,143.

Bass raised $235,861 from Political Action Committees. 12 PACs donated $5,000 (listed below). Leadership PACs affiliated with Speaker John Boehner and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor each donated $10,000, the maximum contribution allowed for the election cycle ($5,000 for the primary election and $5,000 for the general election).

74% of Bass’ $70,550 in itemized contributions from individuals came from New Hampshire residents. Bass reported having $382,116 on hand at the end of the quarter.

Itemized Contributions (NH) . . . . . . . . . . . $ 52,000
Itemized Contributions (Outside NH) . . . . . . . $ 18,550
Non-Itemized Contributions. . . . . . . . . . . . $ 3,963
Political Committees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $ 235,861
Candidate Contribution . . . . . . . . . . . . . $   0
Candidate Loan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $ 0
TOTAL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $ 310,373

PACs contributing $5,000 or more this quarter:
Every Republican is Crucial PAC (Affiliate: Eric Cantor (R-Va))
Exxon Mobil PAC
Growth & Prosperity PAC (Affiliate: Spencer Bachus (R-Ala))
Jobs, Economy and Budget Fund (Affiliate: Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas))
Majority Committee PAC, (Affiliate: Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif))
National Beer Wholesalers Association
National Cable & Telecommunications PAC
Pfizer PAC
Prosperity PAC (Affiliate: Paul Ryan (R-Wis))
ROSKAM PAC (Affiliate: Peter Roskam (R-Ill))
The Freedom Project (Affiliate: John Boehner (R-Ohio))
Wine & Spirits Wholesalers PAC

Frank Guinta’s Pennies from Heaven

Congressional candidates have reported their first quarter fundraising numbers. Rep. Frank Guinta had a solid quarter, raising a little over $200,000. (Hotline declares $150,000 is the Mendoza line for House fundraising). Here are a few lowlights:

Given Guinta’s budget slashing rhetoric, I was initially puzzled by his support for a project that is the epitome of wasteful military spending — a multi-billion-dollar jet engine the Pentagon said it didn’t need and the defense secretary called a wasteful boondoggle. Then General Electric Co. PAC ($3,000) and BAE Systems USA PAC ($5,500) ponied up for Guinta. Now I understand.

In the last election cycle, the infamous Koch Industries Inc. PAC ($1,000) donated $5,000 to Guinta’s campaign. Since then, he’s been hobnobbing with David Koch and hewing to the Tea Party line, so it’s no surprise the largess continues.

Politicians seeking to curry favor and loyalty from Guinta this quarter included new BFF Rep. Paul Ryan (Prosperity PAC, $2,500), his boss from the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Rep. Darrell Issa (Invest in a Strong & Secure America PAC, $2,000), Presidential wannabe Mitt Romney (Free and Strong America PAC, $5,000) and that blast from the past, former Gov. Craig Benson ($5,000).

After pledging to co-sponsor the Armenian Genocide Resolution and winning an endorsement from the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA), Guinta turned around and joined the Caucus on US Turkish Relations & Turkish Americans. The caucus is sponsored by the Turkish Coalition of America, which is leading the fight against the Armenian Genocide Resolution. Guinta was rewarded with a donation from Yalcin Ayasli ($5,000), the New Hampshire resident who founded the TCA. Ayasli has deep pockets. During the 2008 election cycle, he and his family gave $424,050 to politicians and political organizations, more than anyone else in the country.

Complete List of Charlie Bass 2010 PAC Contributions

Following up on my earlier post documenting PAC contributions to the Bass campaign, I’ve compiled the complete list for your perusal: Bass 2010 PAC Contributions. I’ll update the list after the second quarter reports are filed.

Facts and figures provided by the Center for Responsive Politics. Data are for the 2009 - 2010 House election cycle and based on Federal Election Commission data available electronically on Monday, June 28, 2010.

Follow the Money: Charlie “PAC-Man” Bass

The congressional campaigns are gearing up for the last end-of-quarter fundraising push before the primary. We’ll probably pay too much attention to how much they raise – but not enough to where it comes from. Before the onslaught, let’s take one last look at the first quarter filings.

Campaign contributions are categorized as individual or a political action committee (PAC) contributions. Nothing says Washington Insider like PAC money, and in the NH-02 congressional campaign, Charlie Bass is clearly the leader of the PACs.

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