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Some Super PACs Are Still Searching for Their Cause

Yet another pro-Cain PAC, a super PAC known as the 9-9-9 Fund, will suspend its operations until after the new year, said its chief organizer, GOP political consultant Jordan Gehrke. That PAC has doled out almost $800,000 in political expenditures, public records show, mostly on phone banks, direct mail and purchasing voter lists.

“It could be a long nominating process, so we’re not necessarily in a hurry to jump in and make a decision at this point,” said Gehrke. The PAC’s donors are committed to backing a conservative candidate, he said. Options include picking an alternative candidate and campaigning to oppose President Barack Obama in the general election.

The super PAC once known as Americans for Rick Perry still backs the Texas governor, said its treasurer, California political consultant Bob Schuman, but it’s renaming itself the Restoring Prosperity Fund. The PAC had raised $193,000 as of the most recent public reporting period but only spent $17,243. A good chunk of that went to Schuman’s consulting firm, the Schuman Group.

The PAC expects to raise and spend about a half-million dollars by the end of the year, Schuman said, and will dispatch volunteers to Iowa right after Christmas. He said the PAC has not aggressively raised money in recent months to make room for another, higher-profile super PAC backing Perry called Make Us Great Again, which recently reported a $499,377 ad buy.

Large or small, super PACs have drawn fire lately, even from the candidates they back. Romney said on the MSNBC program “Morning Joe” that super PACs are a “disaster” and should be eliminated, even as the pro-Romney Restore Our Future PAC launched a $3.1 million ad campaign on his behalf.

Gingrich reportedly told supporters in Iowa that they should ask Romney to take the Restore Our Future ads off the air — just as a new pro-Gingrich super PAC, Winning Our Future, launched a big fundraising drive in preparation for its own ad buys.

Watchdog groups have accused the super PACs of circumventing contribution limits and illegally coordinating with the candidates they endorse. Campaign officials for the candidates receiving super PAC help, as well as the PAC organizers, have all said such committees operate independently from the campaigns.

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