One legacy of the 2012 presidential race: the super-political action committees it spawned.
Weeks after the Nov. 6 election, those groups still had more than $5.4 million left to spend, Federal Election Commission reports due yesterday show.
Each candidate — from President Barack Obama to short-lived Republican contender Rick Perry — got an assist from at least one specially designed super-PAC, often staffed with former aides to that presidential hopeful.
New to the presidential race last year, super-PACs could accept unlimited sums from wealthy individuals, corporations and unions and spend the money directly helping their candidate of choice, so long as they didn’t coordinate with the candidate.
Priorities USA Action, organized to help the president win re-election, had $3.7 million at the end of December. What will the super-PAC do with the leftover cash? A representative for Priorities couldn’t immediately be reached.
Restore Our Future, created to boost Republican challenger Mitt Romney, had $1.3 million in the bank. Brittany Gross, a spokeswoman for Restore, said in an e-mail the group is “not discussing future plans at this point.”
Far older super-PAC corpses — from the Republican primary race that concluded some nine months ago — still litter the field.
Winning Our Future, which helped Newt Gingrich stay in the Republican race months after his own campaign coffers dwindled, had $60,283. (The super-PAC finally stopped paying its consultant-founder, Rebecca Burkett, last month.)
Perry ally Make Us Great Again had $216,161 as of Dec. 31. Rick Santorum-backing Red, White and Blue Fund, had $127,063. Our Destiny, funded largely by onetime candidate Jon Huntsman’s father, had $20,209 cash on hand.
The pro-Herman Cain 9-9-9 Fund was down to its last $100 but owes $162,000 to a fundraising company. The Georgia businessman, who promised to balance the federal budget in less than a year, would not be pleased.