Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee held a fundraiser for his Hope for America PAC. It raised $500,000 from 350 people present, according to the blog of the Arkansas Republican Assembly. It got some good press and blog attention from Redstate, Kos, and others. But something is off here. And that’s why the Arkansas Times is unimpressed, calling it "puny" for a 10 year governor with many chits to collect on. Here’s why.

The "PAC" is not a federally regulated PAC that can be turned into an exploratory committee. The disclaimer on the PAC’s website says:

Hope For America PAC may accept unlimited contribution amounts and donors may give both corporate and individual contributions.

In other words, this is a soft-money operation that pays for him to travel around and meet people. It is a Virginia-registered and regulated PAC. Indeed, one Arkansas paper has written a story suggesting that this whole operationcould  violate federal campaign finance laws. It quotes a DC campaign-finance interest grouper saying:

seems to be pushing as close as possible to the line. He doesn’t mention the word ‘presidential’ but I can’t contemplate another reason for that [language ], particularly the reference to critical 2008 states. I suppose there are arguably other interpretations. But he definitely appears to be pushing as close as possible without triggering federal law.

The article lists 10 donors who gave a combined $125,000, 1/4 of the take. Almost all of that was corporate money. In other words, this money can’t be turned over. If Huckabee hires a staffer in New Hampshire and that staffer says that Huckabee is running for President, then the whole thing is illegal.

This is a sham. When he can raise hard money, let’s see. But this is all hype and spin, and it suggests that he can’t raise money, not that he can.

I should point out that Race42008 has a post from early December suggesting that Huckabee was going to try to do this. I didn’t really pay attention until I saw that Huckabee was getting some buzz for this sham.

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5 Comments

The Right’s Field » Blog Archive » Dayton: Huckabee’s a Sham · December 28, 2006 at 10:15 AM

[…] Soren Dayton takes on the Huckabee’s A Fundraising God narrative in pretty convincing fashion. Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee held a fundraiser for his Hope for America PAC. It raised $500,000 from 350 people present, according to the blog of the Arkansas Republican Assembly. It got some good press and blog attention from Redstate, Kos, and others. But something is off here. And that’s why the Arkansas Times is unimpressed, calling it “puny” for a 10 year governor with many chits to collect on. Here’s why. […]

Emboldened » Blog Archive » Huckabee’s Fundraising - and Website - Woes · January 19, 2007 at 7:31 AM

[…] At the time both I and Soren Dayton pointed out that Huckabee’s PAC fundraising was largely irrelevant to the presidential race. The money from his PAC is barred by from going towards any presidential campaign expenditures. Moreover, though the PAC can spend its money to support other candidates campaigns – effectively enabling Huckabee to buy endorsements from legislators in early primary states – the Hope for America PAC hasn’t spent any money supporting political candidates. None of the expenditures appeared to be a contribution to a political candidate, and the PAC had previously claimed on its Web site that supporting political candidates was its main purpose. […]

eyeon08.com » So who gave money to Huckabee? · January 19, 2007 at 8:24 AM

[…] Earlier, I commented on the spin surrounding Mike Huckabee’s $500k fundraiser. As always happens with fundraising claims, the truth does come out: About 27 people or entities accounted for roughly $450,000 of the total, At most 100 more people (and several couples were represented in that number) contributed the rest at $500 a head. This doesn’t strike fund-raisers I’ve spoken with as a broad or deep level of support from the hometown crowd. […]

The Right’s Field » Huckabee’s Fundraising - and Website - Woes · January 19, 2007 at 9:04 AM

[…] At the time both I and Soren Dayton pointed out that Huckabee’s PAC fundraising was largely irrelevant to the presidential race. The money from his PAC is barred by from going towards any presidential campaign expenditures. Moreover, though the PAC can spend its money to support other candidates campaigns – effectively enabling Huckabee to buy endorsements from legislators in early primary states – the Hope for America PAC hasn’t spent any money supporting political candidates. None of the expenditures appeared to be a contribution to a political candidate, and the PAC had previously claimed on its Web site that supporting political candidates was its main purpose. […]

eyeon08.com » Huckabee underperforms expectations… · March 31, 2007 at 12:28 PM

[…] Now I have been harsh on Mike Huckabee’s fundraising in the past (here and here), but he is putting together a great team. The question for him has always been how he would do in fundraising. Under the theory of, if your numbers are bad, get them out early, he has put his numbers out before the buzzer. At a Washington fundraiser yesterday, he said: He said the first quarterly report for his presidential exploratory committee will show he has raised about $500,000, which he said was his goal. […]

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