In 2010, Christine O'Donnell was a Tea Party favorite and fundraising powerhouse. Two years later, the former U.S. Senate candidate from Delaware is nearly out of money and under fire from her former allies on the grassroots right.
The News-Journal of Delaware reported on Sunday that ChristinePAC, O'Donnell's political action committee, had only $10,260 cash on hand in December. In the six months before that, according to the group's financial disclosure forms, only 16 people donated more than $200 dollars to ChristinePAC.
Her former campaign war chest has also been depleted. O'Donnell, who defeated incumbent congressman Mike Castle in the 2010 Republican primary for Joe Biden's former Senate seat, raised a massive $7.4 million during the high-profile race. But only $25,844 of the campaign fund now remains, and little, if any, of it appears headed for conservative causes or candidates.
O'Donnell is being sued for $18,250 in unpaid fees by Jonathan Moseley, a Virginia lawyer and former consultant to her campaign. ChristinePAC also spent $19,912 in August on copies of O'Donnell's poorly performing book, Troublemaker, enough to purchase nearly a third of the 3,000 copies that have been sold so far. "That's the level of sales that I would expect from an academic," said University of Virginia professor Larry Sabato to The News-Journal.
O'Donnell allies claimed that her PAC is profitable, but they could not offer any specific proof related to ChristinePAC.
"ChristinePAC is clearly profitable as Christine is not running for office and only campaigns, and SuperPACs that are joined with 501(c)(3) organizations are doing extremely well now in these tough economic times," said her 2010 campaign manager Matt Moran.
O'Donnell herself accused The News-Journal of "bias and prejudice," stating that "ChristinePAC is clearly in the black." She did not, however, comment on the future viability of the group.
Her prospects may also be dim because of O'Donnell's faltering relationship with the Tea Party. Grassroots conservatives fueled her primary win in 2010, but many were turned off by her endorsement of establishment favorite Mitt Romney in this year's GOP presidential race. She also failed to pick up a lucrative gig as a cable news analyst, as many expected she would.
Evan Queitsch, a former O'Donnell volunteer and current candidate for the Delaware state Senate, blasted O'Donnell after the endorsement despite her $600 donation to his campaign.
"Do not insult our intelligence by trying to claim [Romney has] conservative credentials that don't exist," Queitsch wrote in a blog post. "How DARE you insult our intelligence by pretending like we haven't looked at the man's record."
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