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What some ex-lawmakers are doing with leftover cash

October 15, 2015

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Former House and Senate members are sitting on tens of millions of dollars in unspent campaign cash. A look at what some of them are doing with the money, based on campaign finance reports through the first half of 2015.



Among former members of Congress who have campaign accounts with more than $1 million:

Former Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh, left in 2011: $10 million

Former Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin, left in 2015: $2.3 million

Former Michigan Rep. Dave Camp, left in 2015: $2.1 million

Former Massachusetts Rep. Joe Kennedy II, left in 1999: $2 million.

Former Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, left in 2015: $1.7 million

Former Arizona Rep. Ed Pastor, left in 2015: $1.2 million

Former Illinois Rep. Jerry Costello, left in 2013: $1.1 million

Former Montana Sen. Max Baucus, left in February 2014: $1 million



Former Michigan Rep. Vernon Ehlers, left in 2011: Gave more than $100,000 to his alma mater, Calvin College; more than $50,000 to Christian missionary groups; $50,500 to his church.

Former California Rep. David Dreier, left in 2013: Gave $700,000 to his family’s charitable foundation.

Former New York Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, left in 2015: Gave donations ranging from $1,000 to $18,000 to Planned Parenthood, a gun control group, a cancer center, and scholarship funds. Gave $4,000 to Hillary Rodham Clinton for her presidential bid.

Former Florida Sen. Mel Martinez, left in September 2009: Donated between $1,000 and $4,000 to about 30 Republican political candidates; gave $170,000 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee; Donated $117,000 to charities, largely to Catholic organizations and youth programs.

Former Minnesota Rep. Jim Ramstad, left in 2009: Donated $263,000 to the Ramstad Recovery Fund, which provides assistance for veterans with addiction problems; donated $46,500 to charitable organizations in amounts ranging from $1,000 to $5,000. Charities included substance abuse centers, Alzheimer’s disease research and organizations that help the homeless and hungry.



Here’s a sample of who used unspent federal campaign money to help non-federal political campaigns after leaving Congress or announcing their plans to retire:

Current Sen. David Vitter: He donated $890,000 from his Senate account to a political committee that’s supporting his campaign for Louisiana governor.

Former Rep. Allyson Schwartz: Gave $3 million to a political committee backing her 2014 run for Pennsylvania governor, only to lose in the Democratic primary.

Former Rep. Rahm Emanuel: Left Congress in 2009. He later gave more than $1.1 million to a political committee that helped get him elected Chicago mayor in 2011.

Former Rep. Jay Inslee: Left office in 2012 and used $1.2 million to help his successful campaign for Washington governor.

Former Rep. Bob Filner: Used $36,000 to help his 2012 campaign for San Diego mayor. Less than 10 months after being elected, Filner resigned amid widespread allegations of sexual harassment and pleaded guilty to felony false imprisonment and two misdemeanor battery charges.

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