Saturday, January 7, 2017

Pruitt begins winding down fundraising committees


In advance of his upcoming EPA confirmation hearings, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt has begun to wind down his campaign committee and related super PACs.

Before Trump picked him to take over the Environmental Protection Agency, Pruitt had three political committees raising and spending funds: his 2014 reelection committee, Liberty 2.0 (a super PAC), and Oklahoma Strong Leadership PAC. The PACs had been formed to support Pruitt's future political endeavors, widely thought to have been a 2018 gubernatorial run.

In 2016 (through September 30th), his reelection committee raised about $10,000, and spent over $30,000, ending with about $25,000 in the bank. Through November 28th, Liberty 2.0 raised $450,000, spent around $300,000, and still had about $146,000 on hand. Through November 28th, Oklahoma Strong Leadership PAC raised $391,000, spent $333,000, and had $57,000 on hand.

All told, Pruitt's committees raised over $850,000 in 2016, spent around $667,000, and still have about $230,000 left.

Pruitt came under some scrutiny over the committees' expenditures earlier this year, with hundreds of thousands of dollars being spent on consultants and travel, with relatively little of the PAC funds being given to candidates. Liberty 2.0 made zero expenditures on behalf of candidates, while Oklahoma Strong Leadership PAC gave $22,000 to Oklahoma candidates and Republican groups, and $7,330 to out-of-state candidates -- just 7.5% of what the PAC raised, and 3.5% of the combined PAC/super-PAC fundraising. In comparison, U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe's leadership PAC gave roughly 60% to other candidates.

From the Oklahoman:
Two federal political action committees formed to support Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt and conservative causes will shutter operations this month ahead of his planned Senate confirmation hearings for administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.

Charlie Spies, an attorney for Pruitt's leadership PAC, Oklahoma Strong, and an independent super PAC, Liberty 2.0, said the two groups are in the process of filing termination reports with the Federal Election Commission.

"The leadership of both groups are working on a plan for shutting them both down and disbursing remaining funds," Spies told The Oklahoman on Friday. "We would like to have them formally shut down before his hearings so political opponents can't use their existence as an excuse to attack him."
Read more here.

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