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Political action committees allow money to be raised from the same sources, as well as from others who have already maxed out in giving to their regular campaign funds. It also allows them to give more money to their colleagues.It's not just a Republican deal.
One of the newest ones, formed in 2006, is the More Conservatives PAC of Rep. Patrick McHenry, the sophomore Republican from Cherryville.
Last year, MC PAC spent more than $5,000 on a golf fundraiser at the Grandfather Mountain Country Club and the Eseeola Lodge in Linville.
Among the contributions in the last year to Rep. Mel Watt's committee, called Motivating Energetic Leadership, were $5,000 from Wachovia and $5,000 from a health care company called DaVita. The Charlotte Democrat's MEL PAC gave $5,000 to Larry Kissell, the Biscoe teacher who tried to unseat Hayes last year.But the Republicans are all over the concept:
Hayes has his own ROBIN PAC, short for Reinforcing Our Beliefs in North Carolina.
Other leadership PACs by Carolina lawmakers include Sharp Pencil, by Rep. Howard Coble, a Republican from Greensboro; Leadership Circle, by Sen. Elizabeth Dole, R-NC; Next Century Fund by Sen. Richard Burr, R-NC; MINT PAC by Sen. James DeMint, R-SC; and Fund for America's Future, by Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-SC. Off and On the Hill