Gov. Pawlenty's Freedom First PAC filed their fundraising report with the Federal Elections Commission. His PAC already disclosed that he raised $567 thousand dollars, but today's report reveals more specifics on who gave him money, which candidates received PAC money and what the PAC is spending money on.
The report shows that Faegre and Benson's PAC, Mid American Energy's PAC and Unisys PAC all gave money to the Freedom First PAC. We also learned that the CEO of Pawn America (Bradley Rixmann) and John McCain's point man on vetting his 2008 running mate (Arthur Culvahouse) also donated to Pawlenty's PAC. Side note: Culvahouse didn't give to Sarah Palin's PAC.
On the spending side, Pawlenty spent more than $40,000 on travel related expenses (airfare, hotels, etc.).
His PAC gave $29,000 to several candidates including Arizona Sen. John McCain's Senate campaign, GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann's campaign, U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley's Senate campaign (Iowa), Roy Blunt's Senate campaign (Missouri) and the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
When asked today why the PAC spent more on travel than on other candidates, Pawlenty said the PAC shouldn't be measured by how much is given to other candidates.
"If you look at the history of PACs and the percentage of money they give to other candidates versus other activities, it's within the range of what PACs normally do and always do. But I don't want you to be misled to think that the only thing that the PAC is intended to is give money to other candidates. That's part of it and we're committed to that but with the new media, the social media, the ability to reach audiences whether that be through speeches and op-eds. That's a big part of it as well..."
You can read Pawlenty's full report here.
"If you look at the history of PACs and the percentage of money they give to other candidates versus other activities, it's within the range of what PACs normally do and always do."
That sounds like an invitation to fact check the governor. Most PAC records I've researched direct most all of their money back to candidates. Sounds like the governor has a nice little sideline of income going here. Too bad it doesn't include the citizens of Minnesota whom he is supposed to be serving.