Super PAC Leaders Paying Themselves Handsomely

Santorum PAC head Nick Ryan funnels $570K to his business
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 23, 2012 7:29 AM CST
Paul Begala, seen here in a Meet the Press appearance, says his pay heading up Barack Obama's super PAC is "right in line with what I've always charged for campaign work."   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Super PAC leaders have found a great use for all the unbridled cash pouring into their campaigns: paying themselves. The pro-Rick Santorum Red White and Blue Fund may be the most egregious offender; according to the LA Times, it paid $570,000 last month—a third of its total expenditures—to Global Intermediate, a direct mail firm created in December. Who owns Global Intermediate? Nick Ryan, the founder and leader of the Red White and Blue fund.

Becky Burkett, the head of the pro-Newt Gingrich Winning Our Future PAC, is doing pretty well for herself, too, taking home $206,000 in January alone. Her pay is decided by the PAC's "senior leadership"—of which Burkett is one of three members. Paul Begala has made $200,000 over eight months running Priorities USA Action, a super PAC that has raised only $4.4 million for Barack Obama. But he says that's "right in line" with his usual campaign salary. "We're accountable to our donors," he says, "who are very savvy people." (Read more super PACs stories.)

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