For the past week or so, stories have been circulating about all the Super PACs lining up to line Rick Perry's pockets as he scooches toward Saturday's announcement that he's running for president. Among the PACs stacked up: Americans for Rick Perry, Jobs for Iowa, GrowPAC and TuPAC, though I may be wrong about one of those. (Not to mention Stephen Colbert's Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow PAC, which is also endorsing Rick Perry ... pardon, Rick Parry.)
But now, one has emerged triumphant: Make Us Great Again, which is headed by ex-Perry chief o' staff Mike Toomey and which, says The Wall Street Journal, has landed local political fund-raiser Cynthia Wiedemann, who's collected dough for the likes of Pauline Medrano, Sheffie Kadane and Rand Paul.
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As has been pointed out time and again in recent days, Make Us Great Again's chief fund-raiser is G. Brint Ryan, the tax man and Dallas County GOP finance chair who's probably best known for trying to win Mitchell Rasansky's District 13 seat in the 2009 city council election -- which he ultimately lost to Ann Margolin after a nasty race that included attack ads and legal action.
I've left messages for Ryan, who also spent, famously, close to $1 million in that city council race -- an unprecedented amount for a council seat, especially for a man who, as The Dallas Morning News pointed out at the time, had never even voted in a municipal election. A week after he lost, Ryan talked to Dave Levinthal about the money he dropped on the campaign and if he'd ever run again:
"I'd consider doing it again if the right conditions present themselves. I'd never say never to it," Ryan said. "By doing this, I learned a ton from the experience. I made hundreds of new friends. I even lost 10 pounds. Most importantly, I went from being a very isolated CEO to a very well-connected local leader."
In other words, money well spent.