POLITICS
11/29/2011 11:36 am ET | Updated Nov 29, 2011

Herman Cain-Backing PAC Gives Up, Changes Name

The Draft Herman Cain PAC, which is raising funds to support the presidential bid of Herman Cain, has given up on the one-time frontrunner and changed its name to Beat Obama PAC.

The move comes as no surprise to those following the group. A Washington Times report found that it is run by two men, Charles Benninghoff and Randy Goodwin, with a history of creating political committees that raise money through mailings and spending little on actual politics. Their goal is to choose a hot topic, personality, or target to raise money off of and then funnel that money into a series of organizations they control.

Part of the success of these groups comes from the purchasing of "sucker" donor lists. Donors to Draft Herman Cain PAC are often contributors to a series of other ineffective, Tea Party-tinged political organizations that still seem to raise huge sums of money. As the Washington Times reported, "the pattern indicates the presence of valuable “sucker lists” containing broad swaths of tea party donors, many of whom eschew the party establishment and are new to politics, who will respond to generic attacks on liberals without careful scrutiny of where their money is going. Those lists then are rented at great expense."

The change in eponym indicates that the group finds it easier to raise money off of anger at the president than enthusiasm over the now deflated candidacy of Herman Cain.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this article listed the Draft Herman Cain PAC as a super PAC that raises unlimited funds, when it is in fact a traditional PAC raising limited funds. The Federal Election Commission (FEC) lists the group as an independent expenditure committee, rather than an independent expenditure-only committee, the technical name for a super PAC. We regret the error.

CONVERSATIONS