Type of organization: Super PAC
Supports: Rick Perry
Founded: July 28, 2011
- Mike Toomey (founder): Former chief of staff to Rick Perry and lobbyist for pharmaceutical giant Merck.
- Paul Kilgore (treasurer): Former aide to late Georgia Republican Sen. Paul Coverdell, who runs a political financial consulting company called PDS Compliance in Athens.
Make Us Great Again’s website makes its mission clear: “to support Rick Perry for the Republican nomination for President in 2012, to oppose Barack Obama’s re-election and to support Rick Perry in the general election in November 2012.”
When Perry announced he was entering the Republican presidential race, the assumption was that he would be an instant contender with a serious war chest, driven in part by big donors like home builder Bob Perry. The Texas governor lasted only a few months before fading following a series of gaffes and eventually dropping out of the race. But his fundraising network lived up to its expectations.
Make Us Great Again was founded by Mike Toomey, a former chief of staff to Perry. Toomey has also been connected to Citizens for a Greater America, a group launched by Perry allies as a 501(c)(4) nonprofit, meaning it can accept unlimited, undisclosed donations.
The closeness of the super PAC to Perry’s campaign was cause for some controversy, leading several good government groups to file a complaint with the FEC. The groups claimed that Make Us Great Again shared video with the Perry campaign to be used in advertisements.
The super PAC’s largest donor was Contran Corp., the company of Texas super-donor Harold Simmons.
- The super PAC never went negative, spending nearly $4 million on ads supporting Perry, according to Federal Election Commission records.
Last updated: Jan. 17, 2013