MYSTERY: Why Did Ted Cruz's SuperPAC Give Carly Fiorina's SuperPAC $500,000?
A Super PAC associated with GOP presidential candidate Carly Fiorina has raised almost $3.5 million to date for the former CEO in her quest to become commander-in-chief in 2016. One donation in particular, though, stands out among the hundreds of contributions pledged to the CARLY for America Super PAC as so perplexingly bizarre, it has left the Federal Election Commission and a host of others scratching their heads in bewilderment.
On June 18, a donation of $500,000 was made to the Fiorina-supporting PAC by Keep The Promise I. Not only is Keep The Promise I a generous contributor who believes in Fiorina’s presidential aspirations enough to fork over half a million dollars — it also happens to be a Super PAC set up to fund a political rival of Fiorina’s and fellow presidential candidate, Senator Ted Cruz.
Why would anyone seeking the presidential nomination for the Republican party donate such a large sum to a competitor? No one currently knows the answer, but it is a question to which the FEC is actively seeking an answer.
In a letter sent to Keep The Promise I on September 21, the FEC requested an explanation be given for the disbursement of funds to CARLY for America, and that “Failure to adequately respond by (October 21) could result in an audit or enforcement action.”
The only explanation listed for the expense at the time of the contribution was “other disbursement.”
Keep The Promise I is one of four political PACs set up to raise money for Cruz’s presidential campaign endeavors (the other three are “creatively” monikered “Keep the Promise PAC,” “Keep the Promise II,” and “Keep the Promise III”). Keep The Promise I alone has already raised over $11 million dollars for Cruz so far, but not much of that money has been spent yet. According to the FEC, only $536,170 has been used by the PAC. $36,170 of that went towards paying for attorney’s fees and surveys while the bulk of the cash went towards Fiorina’s presidential war chest.
Even stranger, the large sum was donated to Fiorina while she was still a relatively unknown candidate. According to one Washington Post – ABC News poll, the former HP head was polling at 0% at the time. It wasn’t until August 6 — when Fiorina performed well in the first GOP lower candidate debate — that she was on anyone’s political radar nationally.
In June, the FEC forced the Fiorina PAC to change its name from “Carly for America” to “CARLY (an acronym for Conservative Authentic Responsive Leadership for You) for America Super PAC.” The name change was in response to the FEC claiming the original title was in violation of its rules. As the Washington Post states: “FEC rules state committees can only use a federal candidate’s name if they’re authorized by that candidate, something super PACS, by rule, cannot be since they’re supposed to be independent.”