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Gov. Rick Perry looking to set up PAC

Gov. Rick Perry looking to set up PAC

February 17th, 2012 by WILL WEISSERT, Associated Press in News

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Texas governor Rick Perry wants to use money left over from his failed presidential bid to form a political action committee.

Perry campaign treasurer Salvatore Purpura sent a letter to the Federal Election Commission asking for guidance on forming a PAC or super PAC. The former would allow Perry to raise up to $5,000 from individual donors or corporations, while super PACs don't have contribution limits.

Perry dropped out of the race Jan. 19 and endorsed former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. He's kept a low profile since returning to Texas.

Word of Perry's inquiry was first reported Thursday by the nonprofit Sunlight Foundation, a Washington group committed to government transparency and accountability.

Purpura's letter said Perry raised $270,000 for the general presidential election and kept it in a bank account, separated from funds raised to compete for the Republican nomination. The letter said the campaign is now in the process of asking donors if the money can be transferred to a PAC.

Purpura wrote that Perry hasn't decided if the PAC would back one or several candidates, and said that the campaign has received at least $100,000 in refund requests from donors who don't want their money used for other purposes. Others have written requesting that nearly $30,000 of the funds be re-designated.

An accomplished fundraiser, Perry raked in more than $17 million from donors in the first six weeks of his presidential campaign. But as his popularity slipped, so did his fundraising prowess - he took in barely $2.9 million during the last three months of last year.

According to previous filings, Perry had $3.8 million in cash on-hand at the end of 2011, but may have spent most of that before quitting the race.