“Inside the abandoned plans of Ted Cruz’s super PACs”

Teddy Schleifer for CNN:

The super PACs are staffed in part by a few individuals with no formal political experience, including Neugebauer, who has been the groups’ main fundraiser and formerly its chief executive officer — in addition to one of its lead donors. The groups have only recently begun hiring their first political professionals, including a new professional fundraiser: Campbell Smith, a finance official at the National Rifle Association, the super PACs confirmed to CNN.

The ditched buy is at the heart of the dispute between the campaign and the super PAC — a dispute that spilled out into the public this week, with several campaign advisers telling Politico that they want to see Keep the Promise purchase advertising time immediately. Campaigns and super PACs frequently read one another’s messages in the press with a fine-toothed comb to learn thinking that they cannot legally directly share with one another.

It’s a reflection of the divided campaign finance world, where super PACs are allowed to raise unlimited amounts of cash (donations must still be reported to the Federal Election Commission), but the catch is that campaign and super PAC officials aren’t allowed to coordinate. Neugebauer’s pitch at The Broadmoor came without Cruz staffers in the room, for instance, a donor said.

And amid increasing questions about the super PAC, campaign officials are coming to the defense of Neugebauer, who left his role at the super PAC in a shake-up, and are praising his ability to incentivize two more eight-digit donations with a $10 million check of his own.


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