Nice Work If You Can Get It (Fundraising Edition)


From yesterday's Post:

In the years since she was forced to pull her nomination as Bush's labor secretary after admitting payments to an illegal immigrant, [Linda] Chavez and her immediate family members have used phone banks and direct-mail solicitations to raise tens of millions of dollars, founding several political action committees with bankable names: the Republican Issues Committee, the Latino Alliance, Stop Union Political Abuse and the Pro-Life Campaign Committee. Their solicitations promise direct action in the "fight to save unborn lives," a vigorous struggle against "big labor bosses" and a crippling of "liberal politics in the country."

That's not where the bulk of the money wound up being spent, however. Of the $24.5 million raised by the PACs from January 2003 to December 2006, $242,000—or 1 percent—was passed on to politicians, according to a Washington Post analysis of federal election reports. The PACs spent even less—$151,236—on independent political activity, such as mailing pamphlets.

Instead, most of the donations were channeled back into new fundraising efforts, and some were used to provide a modest but steady source of income for Chavez and four family members, who served as treasurers and consultants to the committees….

"I guess you could call it the family business," Chavez said in an interview.

Full story here. The Post says the operation is completely legal, by the way, so I guess the Chavez clan hasn't stepped over the line separating a bad investment from outright mail fraud. As for where exactly that line should be…I'll let you folks debate that in the comments.