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Vice President Mike Pence files to form new 'Great America Committee' leadership PAC

Vice President Mike Pence files to form new 'Great America Committee' leadership PAC
Posted at 9:52 PM, May 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-17 21:56:46-04

INDIANAPOLIS -- Amid a tumultuous week in Washington, D.C., Vice President Mike Pence quietly filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission on Wednesday to form a new political action committee of his own.

Dubbed the Great America Committee, the organization is a leadership PAC. Federal election law allows leadership PACs to raise $5,000 a year from individual donors, unlike super PACs, which can accept unlimited funds.

Leadership PACs are also limited to contributions of no more than $5,000 per year to individual candidates and $10,000 per year to state, district or local party committees, according to the FEC's 2015-2016 federal election guidelines.

The FEC filing for the Great America Committee offers few details about how Pence intends to use it, other than saying the committee "supports/opposes more than one federal candidate."

The PAC will be run by former Pence senior campaign adviser Nick Ayers and has been in the works since December, according to Bloomberg News, which first reported the story Wednesday.

Leadership PACs are common among members of Congress – where Pence served 12 years as a U.S. representative for the state of Indiana – but less so for sitting vice presidents. FEC filings show neither Joe Biden nor Dick Cheney had their own PACs while in office (although, as Bloomberg notes, George H.W. Bush did have one called the Fund for America's Future).

In fact, Pence had a different leadership PAC of his own while serving in the U.S. House of Representatives. FEC filings show his Win Back America PAC took in more than $630,000 during his 2010 re-election bid. Of that, roughly $300,000 was then paid out to support the campaigns of fellow Republicans running for Congress, including Sen. Todd Young (who, at the time, was running for the U.S. House of Representatives) and former Rep. Marlin Stutzman.

Pence's new Great America Committee appears to have no connection to the similarly-named Great America PAC formed last year by supporters of then-candidate Donald Trump. That PAC was apparently formed with no feedback from candidate Trump, and was disavowed by his campaign, according to the Wall Street Journal.

A request for comment on this story Wednesday evening to Pence's spokesman, Marc Lotter, was not immediately returned.

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