Entrepreneurs who set up super-PACs wrote their own paychecks. The new groups sometimes moved as much money into the pockets of employees as they did into races. And some showed evidence of self-dealing.
One example: Revolution PAC raised $1.2 million by pitching itself as a booster for Texas Representative Ron Paul’s run for president. Under the direction of Gary Franchi, the group spent $1 million, 83 percent of its cash, on administrative expenses, including about $153,000 for himself and his companies. A $1,766 monthly fee for “office rent” went to a Franchi company whose address is a mailbox at a Northbrook, Illinois, UPS Store. Franchi said in an interview there is a physical location for the companies, declining to give its address “for privacy reasons.”
Revolution PAC raised more than $1.2 million and spent just $172,000 on independent expenditures to help him. Steering the group’s $1 million in administrative spending was Franchi, Revolution’s founder.
Franchi paid himself $38,000 in management fees and fundraising commissions. The super-PAC gave more than $60,000 to One Touch Media and about $53,000 to Restore the Republic –also owned by Franchi, according to Illinois corporate filings.