Baucus – Leaving His Millions Behind?
A U.S. Senator, who will be leaving soon to take up duties in China as the U.S. Ambassador, currently has over $3.2 million in his campaign and leadership PAC funds.
Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., was confirmed yesterday as the new U.S. Ambassador to China. The year-end campaign finance report filed at the end of January by the Friends of Max Baucus showed his campaign committee had $3,200,508 cash on hand, and debts of $1,000. The committee received no contributions in the fourth quarter of 2013. From 1980 to the present, Baucus has raised $32.7 million, and spent $29.5 million on his campaigns. View his career finances.
His leadership PAC, Glacier PAC, reported $38,169 cash on hand at the end of the year. It received $5,000 from Dennis Washington (owner, Washington Corporations, MT) on 12/31. The Real Estate Investment PAC gave $5,000 on 12/22.
Campaign committees may use the funds for any lawful purpose, but the funds can’t be converted to personal use. Some members donate funds to non-profits, charities, educational institutions, political parties, other candidates (within limits), or refund contributions to the original donors. Or they could leave the funds in the campaign account, and keep it going to years.
Leadership PACs of members of Congress are not restricted as much as campaign committees. There is no prohibition on the use of leadership PAC funds for personal use. The Federal Election Commission has recommended that the prohibition of the personal use of campaign funds be extended to apply to all political committees, including leadership PACs.
View earlier posting with examples of how members handled of leftover funds.
Senate members who have announced they are retiring at the end of this session:
Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, campaign cash $2,325,281; PAC cash $53,424.
Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., campaign cash $992,415; PAC cash $274,199.
Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., campaign ash $819,554; PAC cash $64,333.
Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., campaign cash $331,914; PAC cash $0.
Sen. Mike Johanns, R-Neb., campaign cash $157,471; PAC cash $0.
Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., campaign cash $121,856; no PAC.
Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., campaign cash $101,987; PAC cash $91,158.
View an earlier posting on the $10 million held in accounts by House members who have announced they are retiring at the end of this session.