Club for Growth goes all in

Can the Republican nomination be bought?

The Club for Growth apparently thinks so, as their spending on the anti-Huckabee crusade has grown to over $550,000 in the last three weeks alone.

The Associated Press is reporting that Houston homebuilder Bob Perry of Swiftboat fame, is joining with fellow scalawag 1 Jackson “Steve” Stephens, Jr. to bankroll the Club for Growth’s last ditch effort to stop Mike Huckabee. Mr. Perry is actively supporting Mitt Romney for the 2008 nomination, having donated the maximum allowable to Romney’s campaign.

Perry, who has been described as “the man who pulls the strings,” but “never gets his hands dirty,” is largely “unknown outside campaign-finance databases and a small group of political leaders. Many politicians who have received Perry’s money say they never have met him.” 2 Perry was the nation’s biggest donor in the 2006 elections, giving more than $16 million to state and federal candidates and campaign groups.

Bob Perry’s political donations figure prominently in a recent lawsuit against Gov. Rick Perry’s (no relation) 2006 re-election campaign and the Republican Governor’s Association today claiming they illegally hid $1 million in donations from the Houston homebuilder. 3

You can view a copy of the lawsuit here.

It does makes one wonder if running afoul of campaign finance laws is an unwritten requirement for membership in the Club for Growth, whose own settlement with the FEC made headlines just three months ago:

The agreement [with the Federal Election Commission] asks the court to enter a consent judgment requiring Club for Growth to pay a civil penalty of $350,000 for failing to register with the FEC as a political committee and report its contributions and expenditures. 4

In the 2006 election cycle, Perry, who was the “#1 individual donor to 527 committees, donated as much as the #2, #3 and #4 on the list. That is $9,750,000 in total.”5

Update: I ran across this6 a few days ago, and it made me wonder.

Jackson (Jack) Stephens, Steve’s father, who passed away on June 23, 2005, apparently made some 20 contributions totaling roughly $200,000 to The Club for Growth, after he died.

How can that happen?


1 To most Southerners, scalawags were an unprincipled group of traitorous opportunists who abandoned their countrymen and ingratiated themselves with the hated Eastern Elite for their own material gain.

2 Seattle Times

3 Texas Politics

4 USA Today

5 Sourcewatch

6 Campaign Money

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