As super PAC spending passes $30 million, a pro-Perry group shuts down

Republican presidential candidate, Texas Gov. Rick Perry pauses while announcing he is suspending his campaign and endorsing Newt Gingrich, Thursday, Jan. 19, 2012, in North Charleston, S.C.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry
AP Photo/David Goldman

NEW YORK -- With the curtain coming down on Texas Gov. Rick Perry's presidential campaign, the super PAC backing him is shutting its doors too.

"Make Us Great Again," the independent political action committee focused on propping up the fortunes of Perry's White House ambitions, has announced that it is ceasing operations.

"Following Governor Perry's decision to withdraw from the presidential race, Make Us Great Again will begin the process of winding down, in full accordance with FEC regulations," M.U.G.A. executive director Scott Rials said in a written statement.

As a practical matter, all the group's TV ads that were planned to run before Saturday's crucial presidential primary in South Carolina have been pulled.

No word on how much cash on hand, if any, the Super PAC has, but Rials indicated no funds would be directed to back anyone else.

"Donors to Make Us Great Again contributed with the intent to help elect Governor Perry as our next president. It would be inappropriate to utilize their contributions for any other purpose or candidate," Rials' statement continued. Accordingly, "Make Us Great Again" will not be engaged in making further expenditures, now that Gov. Perry is no longer a candidate for president."

To date, M.U.G.A. spent $3.95 million to advocate for Perry. The expenditures, as required, have all been disclosed to the Federal Election Commission.

The total places M.U.G.A. third in presidential Super PAC spending behind the pro-Mitt Romney "Restore Our Future," which has spent $11 million, and the pro-Newt Gingrich "Winning Our Future," which has spent $4.4 million, according to analysis by the Center For Responsive Politics.

A trio of pro-Ron Paul Super PACs, led by "Endorse Liberty" ($2.9 million) and including "Santa Rita Super Pac" ($317,000) and "Revolution PAC" ($40,000), have spent $3.25 million, according to the Center, based on FEC disclosures.

The pro-Rick Santorum Super PAC, "Red White And Blue fund," has spent $1.7 million.

Before Jon Huntsman dropped out, the Super PAC supporting him, "Our Destiny," had spent $2.5 million, while the pro-Herman Cain super PAC, "9-9-9 Fund," spent $468,000.

The intended pro-Bachmann super PAC, "Citizens For A Working America," switched allegiances to Romney and has spent $455,000.

Overall, the Center For Responsive Politics finds that super PACs of all kinds have already spent $33 million this campaign cycle.

Around $28.5 million of that was spent on behalf of presidential campaigns, and the rest by super PACs with a different focus.

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