McConnell, Paul and PAC Money, or Why McConnell Is So Powerful with His Caucus.

The Louisville Courier Journal has an article that examines how both Mitch McConnel and Rand Paul raise and spend their PAC money, and it is not a pretty picture.  But it helps to explain McConnell’s ability to keep his Republican caucus in line.  McConnell basically acts as an ATM for his fellow Republicans.

First up, Rand Paul is living the good life with his PAC money:

Paul spent much more on travel, food and drink combined last year than he did on the original purpose for such politician PACs – to use this separate political stash to make contributions to other like-minded candidates.

Its many expenses at upscale restaurants last year included $9,254 at North Beach Restaurant in San Francisco; $3,346 at the Caffe Molise in Salt Lake City; and $921 at The Palm Too in New York City. Travel expenses included stays at the Balboa Bay Resort, the Scottsdale Plaza Resort, the Royal Palms Resort and the Royal Horseguards Hotel.

Just 10 percent of its spending went to campaigns of other politicians. It donated just $9,500 to Republicans running in high-stakes races for the Kentucky General Assembly.

Meanwhile, evil snapping turtle has been busy helping his fellow Republicans:

McConnell spends little on travel, food and drink. By far, most of McConnell’s PAC money – about 65 percent last year – was spent on contributions to campaigns of other Republicans running federal, state and local offices.

It was a major financial force in last fall’s elections for the Kentucky General Assembly, donating $316,000 toward that end.

Keeping the Kentucky legislature in Republican hands, by the way.

And where each raised the money for their PACS is also interesting.  

Paul relies on conning small donors for his PAC:

RANDPAC reported $524,126 in total contributions. Of that, $470,626, or 90 percent, came from people, and only 10 percent from political action committees.

Of the money he got from people, more than a third of it came from small donors whose names do not have to be reported to the FEC.

The larger donors listed in the report come from all over – at least 41 states, plus a donor from United Kingdom and one from Switzerland.

Only 5 percent of the money from the identified donors came from Kentuckians.

Conning individual donors from all over the place.  Just like his Daddy.

Evil Snapping Turtle gets most of his money from other PACS:

McConnell’s Bluegrass Committee reported raising $896,850 in contributions between Jan. 1 and Nov. 26, with 81 percent of that money coming from PACs and just 19 percent from people.

And nearly a third of the money from people came from Washington lobbyists.

Another big share of the money from people — about $50,000 — came from donors living in Texas last fall, many of them identified in the PAC's reports as being in the real estate business.

Something like 115 PACs gave to McConnell’s PAC.  And he distributed that money to fellow Republicans to buy their loyalty.

Anyway, if you want more of the gory details and graphics, I would go read the article.  But it confirmed everything I had heard and read about McConnell before.  He raises a ton of money from wealthy donors and businesses, and McConnell uses that money to buy political ads galore to carpet bomb his opposition.