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Entries in Winning Our Future (2)

Monday
Apr232012

What Will Gingrich’s Super PAC Do with $5 Million?

Jessica McGowan/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The super PAC supporting Newt Gingrich’s candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination has $5 million in the bank, thanks to casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson’s wife, Miriam, the latest Federal Election Commission report revealed.

So what will Winning Our Future do with all of that money? The fact is, anything they want to.

“They can buy a yacht and sail off into the sunset drinking margaritas or whatever they want,” said Paul Ryan of the Campaign Legal Center, a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit that gives legal advice and assessments of campaign finances.

Though Gingrich is still in the race, it is unlikely the $5 million in Winning Our Future’s pocket will be spent before Gingrich exits.

Rick Tyler, a senior adviser and spokesman for Winning Our Future, told ABC News that no one from the super PAC would be taking any sunset cruises anytime soon.

“All of the money will be used for Newt’s benefit,” Tyler said.

Although Tyler would not reveal any specific plans or potential ad buys, he said that Winning Our Future planned to help out Gingrich’s campaign in North Carolina.

Ryan said although candidates and election committees for president aren’t allowed to use funds for personal expenses, there are no guidelines from the FEC on how super PACs use any leftover money once a candidate has suspended their campaign -- the only thing they can’t do is pay off the candidate’s debt. Gingrich’s debt is $4.3 million.

“If someone’s not a candidate anymore, then the ban on coordinating with candidates doesn’t apply. The FEC has failed to adopt any rules given super PACs and when it comes to what happens after, the FEC has been asleep at the wheel,” Ryan said.

The FEC requires that Gingrich remain on the books as a candidate until his debt is paid.

Michael Malbin of the Campaign Finance Institute echoed Ryan’s interpretation of the FEC regulations on super PACs.

“Unlimited contributions are allowed only on the condition that the committee does not coordinate with a candidate -- and that includes a candidate’s authorized committee. If Mr. Gingrich is not a candidate, the committee may spend its money independently on whatever legal purpose it wants,” Malbin said.

The formation of a super PAC around a particular candidate was never the intention when the idea was conceived, but they later morphed into candidate-specific PACs as they are today, Ryan said.

For the first time, super PACs supporting candidates who are no longer in the race coined the term “Zombie PACs,” because they have leftover money and no cause.

It isn’t clear whether Winning Our Future will spend excess funds to place ad buys against the Obama campaign in the general election, spend the money on Adelson’s choosing or attempt to spend the entire $5 million for Gingrich before he exits the race.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Mar282012

Pro-Gingrich Super PAC Might Be Ray of Hope for Campaign

Richard Ellis/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Newt Gingrich’s presidential campaign is facing drastic budget cuts, but the super PAC supporting him, Winning Our Future, is still going strong, purchasing radio and email advertising time in several upcoming primary states.

The group, largely funded by Las Vegas casino owner Sheldon Adelson, has purchased radio and email ads across a slew of states, including Wisconsin, Texas, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, North Carolina and, of course, California, to name a few, according to its Federal Election Commission disclosures. They show that the group spent the same amount in each state, $20,662.

Winning Our Future is clearly in a stronger place financially than the Gingrich campaign. Its most recent FEC monthly report showed that Winning Our Future ended the month of February with $2.28 million cash on hand. The group raised $5.7 million for the month, $5.5 million of which came from the Adelson family.

By comparison, the Gingrich campaign raised only $2.6 million in February, and ended the month with $1.5 million cash on hand. The campaign also has $1.5 million in debt.

But Winning Our Future cannot simply make up for the campaign’s financial shortcomings. By law, a super PAC and the campaign it promotes cannot coordinate with one another, so the super PAC is limited in the extent to which it can help the ailing Gingrich campaign.

Still, depending on fundraising going forward, it is possible Winning Our Future might be able to pick up some of the slack. By continuing to fund items such as advertising, mailers and voter contact, Winning Our Future might help the campaign maintain some viability.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio