Federal Politics

Published — December 6, 2011 Updated — May 19, 2014 at 12:19 pm ET

Pro-Perry ‘super PAC’ biggest presidential spender, Romney group looms

Introduction

With a $550,692 ad buy, a group that is backing Texas Gov. Rick Perry for the Republican nomination for president has become the top spender among so-called presidential “super PACs” – for now, anyway.

Make Us Great Again, Inc.” has spent more than $1.47 million since its formation on July 28 but has yet to reveal its donors.

A super PAC can accept unlimited corporate and union contributions and spend the money on advertising and other expenditures to support or oppose a candidate. Prior to the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision in January 2010, such contributions were illegal.

Super PACs are prohibited from coordinating with the candidate, an issue that has raised questions for Make Us Great Again. The group has been linked to Perry’s former chief of staff, Mike Toomey.

Our Destiny PAC, a super PAC supporting former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr., has spent a little more than $1.45 million to date. A pro-Romney group, Restore Our Future, Inc., has raised more than $12 million and is only now preparing to make its first expenditures.

Make Us Great Again lists a post office box in Washington, D.C. as its address. Its treasurer is Paul Kilgore, of Athens, Ga. Kilgore, a former aide to late Georgia Republican Sen. Paul Coverdell, runs a political financial consulting company called PDS Compliance in Athens.

He is also treasurer for ChristinePAC (a super PAC connected to failed former Delaware Republican Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell), the leadership PAC for New Jersey Republican Rep. Scott Garrett, and the conservative Madison Project Inc., among others.

“Elites,” the new advertisement from Make Us Great, is a 30-second spot showing images of President Obama and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi with a voiceover: “Washington elites are wrecking America, destroying our way of life.” The ad is running in Iowa and South Carolina.

As the background music brightens, the voice adds “Rick Perry isn’t from Washington. His spending reforms balance the budget. His energy plan frees America from foreign oil. And his tax reforms flatten and simplify. That’s how we’ll put America back to work.”

This is the third television spot the group has produced since early November. Thus far the committee has spent at least $1,472,681, according to the Center for Responsive Politics — tops among all presidential super PACs.

Perry, while serving as governor from 2001 through 2010, raised $102.8 million, according to good-government group Texans for Public Justice. Among his top backers was Houston homebuilder Bob Perry who gave the governor more than $2.5 million.

Perry is currently running fourth in the Jan. 3 Iowa cacuses, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, trailing frontrunner Newt Gingrich, Romney and Ron Paul.

A spokesman for Make Us Great Again did not return calls from iWatch News seeking information on the group’s donors.

Federal Election Commission rules require super PACs to report their donors in regular filings. Perry supporters have also organized a nonprofit, Citizens for a Greater America, to back the candidate, as reported by iWatch News, but that organization is not required to reveal its donors.

This story has been updated.

John Dunbar contributed to this report.

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SOUTH JERSEYTed SiroisMark SullivanTom LarkinAnonymous Recent comment authors
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Mark Sullivan
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Mark Sullivan

Trump needs to conduct these activities because the entire MSM media, excluding Fox, is campaigning against him 24/7/365.

Didn’t Monica’s boyfriend’s wife and various criminal enterprises outspend Trump by almost 2-1?

CapitalistRoader
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CapitalistRoader

Why wouldn’t he get an early start on fund raising? Hillary outspent him two-to-one in 2016. The Dem’s are the party of big money. The President knows this and is attempting to get a jump on it. Of course the Dem candidate will outspend him in 2020 so it’s only rational that he starts fund raising now.

George Young
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George Young

Oh brother. We just 8 years of the Campaigner – in – Chief. Where was this journalistic rectal thermometer then. Just another article about 2000 words too long that merely takes another slap at Trump for something he far from initiated.

j stevenson
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j stevenson

The big difference between Trump and all the rest is his refusing to accept funds from lobbyists, so they don’t have the White House access they are used to. These are the donors who buy the presidency and are as pixxed off that he won the election as are the media and the Dems. Lobbyists have never been shut out of the WH and Trump has told them he is not for sale.

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Trump needs to be impeached and tossed in prison. Then have the key thrown away so he will never be free. Then he can see how it feels not to have freedom.

Mark Sullivan
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Mark Sullivan

Thank you for the usual insightful leftist low IQ Snowflake response.

barney
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hes not imprisoning them hes sending them back to their country chill tf out

SOUTH JERSEY
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SOUTH JERSEY

WHY DONT YOU HAVE FREEDOM?

Tom Larkin
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Tom Larkin

First, something positive. I was happy to learn of empirical information in article. BUT, the article was so slanted against President Trump as to be deemed fake news (“Perhaps Trump just lied.” (Two different issues)). The article mentions that President Trump raised over $67 million, but ended 2018 with $19 million. President Trump spent over $40 million 2016 and 2017. President Trump conducted 57 political rallies. The article notes the hats and T-shirts sold, but NEVER MENTIONS THE INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF REPUBLICAN SENATORS during a mid-term election that lost the House and the number of political rallies in… Read more »

Ted Sirois
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Ted Sirois

At least Trump is getting donations from willing donors. Fresh from his first election, Obama used billions of our children’s tax dollars to save thousands of union jobs in the car industry and bailed out the banks and many Wall Street businesses. This secured his source of reelection funds for his reelection four years later.

South Jersey
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South Jersey

TRUMP 2020; IS AN AMAZINGLY SMART MAN! VERY ORIGINAL & CREATIVE. I AM HAPPY TO HAVE HIS AS POTUS.

SOUTH JERSEY
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SOUTH JERSEY

THIS ARTICLE WAS OBVIOUSLY WRITTEN BY, A TRUMP-HATE-GROUP. THAT FEELS; IT IS NOT NORMAL TO BE SUCCESSFUL WITH YOUR OWN BRAND NAME. WHEN, IF FACT, IT IS NORMAL! >>>>> THIS IS >>> FAKE NEWS!!! <<<< ie: A PACK-OF-LIES; SPUN INTO; DEFAMATION OF CHARACTER. FOR A SINISTER-AGENDA OF; FASCIST DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST, COUP D'ETAT