Asked about Koontz, O’Donnell said she finds it amusing that reporters take the time to scour her FEC reports and quipped that if they had spent the time reading the text of the health care overhaul, the measure might not have passed.
After gaining national attention, O’Donnell also increased her hiring. Most notably, Jennie O’Donnell landed on her younger sister’s payroll in early September, days before the candidate’s unlikely GOP primary victory over Rep. Mike Castle and amid the flood of campaign donations from conservatives across the nation.
Jennie O’Donnell, who is expected to work for the political action committee, received weekly payments of $1,000 that were initially described as “salary” and later as “political strategy consulting” as they continued through the general election, according to the FEC filings.
Between Sept. 8 and Nov. 19, Christine O’Donnell’s campaign paid her sister $26,000, consisting of 11 separate $1,000 payments and one for $15,000 on Nov. 4.
Jennie O’Donnell’s specific role with the PAC and her qualifications aren’t completely clear. She described herself as a “spiritual psychologist, actor and meditation teacher” in a private Facebook profile published on various blogs in the fall. Campaign manager Matt Moran, who also is likely to have a role with the new PAC, said that Jennie O’Donnell had worked on her sister’s previous campaigns and that she has executive experience.
“We aren’t too big on titles,” Moran said, noting the campaign had just five staffers plus O’Donnell before the primary. If he had to assign a descriptor for Jennie O’Donnell, it would be “executive operations director,” he added.
Jennie O’Donnell is traveling with her sister and attended the tea party dinner and meetings in Virginia, and she described her role as ongoing as her sister transitions from the campaign to the PAC. The payments also appear to be ongoing, with the FEC filings showing $1,000 payments on Nov. 5, 12 and 19.
Christine O’Donnell doesn’t find it unusual to have several paid staffers in the transition period between campaign and PAC. “A 1,200-page FEC report, that doesn’t just file itself,” she said.
O’Donnell’s schedule is booked through January with meetings, tea party events, official Republican events and even a guest-host stint on “Fox and Friends” during Christmas week.
But does she have a political bid in her future?
O’Donnell, wearing glasses with purple frames, considered the question for a minute. “I don’t know. It depends. Right now there’s so much wrong with the system. ... I want to continue the effort to reform the process.”
Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., walks on Broadway after a Future Forum with young entrepreneurs in the Flatiron District of New York City, April 16, 2015. Reps. Steve Israel, D-N.Y., Seth Moulton, D-Mass., and Grace Meng, D-N.Y., also attended.