Super PAC Bows Out Of Senate Race

A super PAC, or political action committee, that was formed to support the U.S. Senate candidacy of Treasurer John Kennedy has been disbanded and its money has been transferred to a national conservative advocacy group that could end up playing an out-front role in the developing race scheduled for this fall.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2010 that super PACs, unlike traditional political committees, are allowed to raise unlimited sums of moneys with no limits whatsoever.

The Make Louisiana Proud PAC was formed last year by consultant Jason Redmond, a former top aid to Kennedy at the state treasury. A year later, almost to the week, the PAC has been terminated, according to paperwork filed with the Federal Election Committee on Friday.

Case law and federal guidelines prohibit candidates from coordinating with the super PACs that are supporting them, so Kennedy was not directly involved with Make Louisiana Proud.

From July 1, 2015, to June 30 of this year the super PAC raised $476,000 and spent money on email communications, a website, fundraising, targeted social media and other activities to promote Kennedy’s candidacy.

“I’m pursuing a new professional opportunity,” Redmond told LaPolitics on Monday.

All is not lost, however, for Kennedy boosters. Before it was terminated, Make Louisiana Proud’s final FEC report showed a transfer of its remaining money, nearly $120,000, to the D.C.-based ESAFund. That included about $20,000 in cash and some $100,000 in in-kind donations for polling and candidate research.

Formerly known as the Ending Spending Action Fund, the ESAFund played heavily in three U.S. Senate races in 2014, including the one that was held in Louisiana. It has also been active in this year’s presidential race.

The group has received massive donations from the likes of TD Ameritrade executive Joe Rickett and billionaire hedge fund manager Paul Singer.

For this cycle, ESAFund has already officially endorsed 13 candidates, including Kennedy. And Kennedy, for his part, has donated a “substantial amount” from his state campaign account to ESAFund, according to Charlie Spies, an attorney for the treasurer’s campaign.

Qualifying for the U.S. Senate race begins this week. The primary election is slated for Nov. 8, with a runoff as needed on Dec. 10.

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