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."