U.S. Sen. Angus S. King, Jr., an unenrolled Democrat, is the only freshman U.S. senator that has not formed a leadership PAC. Leadership PACs are committees that allow politicians to raise money from special interests and give that money to friends and colleagues.
Courtesy of Shane Goldmacher of NationalJournal.com:
Ted Cruz waited less than a week after his election to form his. Heidi Heitkamp followed only days later. Then came Tim Kaine and Mazie Hirono and Deb Fischer and Elizabeth Warren.
By the time these freshman senators took the oath of office in January, each already had created a fundraising apparatus that lets them collect money from supporters and Washington special interests beyond the strict limits imposed on their campaign accounts. They were all owners of a leadership PAC.
Once the province of actual and aspiring congressional leaders, who used them to dish out money to win friends and forge alliances, leadership PACs are now commonplace all the way to the back benches of Capitol Hill. It’s symptomatic of the constant money chase that consumes so much of modern lawmakers’ time and energy.
Of the new senators elected last November, only one, Maine’s Angus King, doesn’t have one yet. Overall, 94 of the 100 current senators have created such PACs, according to a National Journal analysis of federal records. Roughly two-thirds of House members have them, as well.
“They’re becoming so prevalent now, they’re really a misnomer,” said Michael Toner, a former chairman of the Federal Elections Commission. “You don’t need to be a leader in any sense of the word.”
Read the entire article at NationalJournal.com