Congressional Leadership Fund

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The Congressional Leadership Fund (CLF) is a Super PAC dedicated to electing Republicans to the U.S. House of Representatives.[1] The Super PAC, which is closely linked to former House Speaker John Boehner and House GOP leadership, was founded in 2011 and spent nearly $10 million in the 2012 cycle electing Republican candidates.[2] Following Boehner's resignation from the U.S. Congress and the election of Paul D. Ryan as Speaker of the House, Congressional Leadership Fund has become closely linked to Ryan.[3] The Super PAC is currently headed by Corwin Albert "Corry" Bliss who serves as Executive Director to both CLF and the linked American Action Network.[citation needed]


  • Former Minnesota Senator Norm Coleman, Chairman Emeritus
  • Fred Malek, Chairman
  • Former Representative Thomas M. Reynolds, Board Member
  • Former Representative Vin Weber, Board Member
  • Charlie Spies, Senior Adviser (Former)[4]
  • Mason Fink[5], Board Member & Finance Director[6][7]
  • Corwin Albert "Corry" Bliss, Executive Director
  • William Inman, Deputy Executive Director[8]
  • Patrick Lee, National Field Director[8]
  • Ruth Guerra, Communications Director[9]
  • Trent Edwards, Development Director (Former)[10]
  • Caleb Crosby, Treasurer

The board members are all members of the board of the American Action Network.[11]

2012 Election Cycle

According to records from the Federal Elections Commission, during the 2012 election cycle, CLF raised $11.3 million and spent $10.8 million.[12] Of the 19 congressional races where CLF and the affiliated American Action Network paid for television ads, Republicans won 12 of the contests.[13] The non-partisan Sunlight Foundation reported that CLF had a 58.05% return on investment in 2012.[14]

Their largest donor was Sheldon Adelson, who gave $5 million in 2012. Other major donors included the late Texas home builder Bob J. Perry and Chevron.[15]

2014 Election Cycle

According to records from the Federal Election Commission, during the 2014 election cycle, CLF raised $12.6 million and spent $12.56 million.[16]

2016 Election Cycle

According to records from the Federal Elections Commission, during the 2016 election cycle, CLF raised just over $51.05 million and spent $50.05 million.[17]

During the 2016 election, CLF used stolen hacked material in attacks ads against a Democratic candidate.[18]

2018 Election Cycle

CLF was the largest Republican outside spender in the special election to fill Montana's at-large seat vacated by then Rep. Ryan Zinke after he was appointed to serve as Secretary of Interior by President Donald Trump.[19][20] CLF invested $2.5 million in Montana to promote Greg Gianforte to the U.S. House of Representatives.[21] Rep. Elect Gianforte was charged with assaulting a journalist at a rally on Wednesday, May 24th on the eve of the special election. Three of the state's largest newspapers, The Billings Gazette, The Missoulian and the Independent Record, rescinded their endorsements of Gianforte shortly following the incident.[22][23][24] Rep. Elect Gianforte is scheduled to appear in court before June 7th, where he will have to answer an accusation that he "purposely or knowingly" caused "bodily injury to another."[25] Rep. Elect Gianforte won slightly more than 50 percent of the vote to about 44 percent for Mr. Quist, the Democrat. President Trump won Montana by about 20 percentage points.[25] On June 12, 2017, Gianforte pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault and was sentenced to a 180-day deferred sentence, 40 hours of community service, 20 hours of anger management and a $300 fine along with a $85 court fee.[26]

According to records from the Federal Elections Commission, as of June 6, 2017, Congressional Leadership Fund had made independent expenditures totaling just over $2.94 million in the Georgia 6th Congressional District Special Election against Democrat John Ossoff.[27] CLF has pledged $6.5 million to the special election in an attempt to keep the seat in control of the GOP after former HHS Secretary Tom Price vacated the seat when he was nominated by President Donald Trump to head the Department of Health and Human Services. CLF has repeatedly made the claim that San Francisco "Bay area liberals have given more to Jon Ossoff's campaign than people in Georgia.", a statement that has been rated false by the fact-checking website PolitiFact.[28] A simple search through the Federal Elections Commission verifies PolitiFact's reporting.

The super PAC also made headlines in 2017 after it released its first ad against Democrat Jon Ossoff, with an ad featuring college video footage of Ossoff dressed up as Han Solo of Star Wars.[29] The ad was the first significant spending from any outside GOP group.[30]

In August 2018, Democratic candidate Abigail Spanberger accused CLF of being illicitly in possession of an unredacted federal security clearance application, which contains sensitive personal information, and that CLF had provided a copy of the sensitive information to at least one news outlet.[31]

During the 2018 election cycle, the CFL was accused by reporters for the The New York Times[32] and The Washington Post [33]of producing a number of false ads, including two that falsely linked two Democratic candidates with terrorists. In one ad, the CLF depicted Antonio Delgado, an African-American Rhodes scholar with a Harvard Law degree, as a foul-mouthed and "disturbingly radical" rapper, and reportedly misrepresented lyrics from his rap career.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Paul Blumenthal, "House Republican Super PAC Ready To Raise Unlimited Funds To Retain GOP Majority", The Huffington Post, 13 October 2011.
  2. ^ Alexander Burns, "Bob Perry gives $1 million to Congressional Leadership Fund", Politico, 15 July 2012.
  3. ^ Drucker, David M. "Paul Ryan-aligned super PAC moves to save GOP House seat". Washington Examiner. Retrieved 2017-06-01.
  4. ^ Aaron Blake, "Top strategist Charlie Spies joins House GOP super PAC", Washington Post, 7 March 2013.
  5. ^ "Lpc 25 LLC in Newport Beach, CA | Company Info & Reviews". Retrieved 2017-08-02.
  6. ^ Cam, Deniz. "Can A Super PAC And Its New Billionaire Donors Help Set The Republican Party's Future?". Forbes. Retrieved 2017-08-02.
  7. ^ "Top GOP Fundraiser Mason Fink Joins Congressional Leadership Fund Board - Congressional Leadership Fund". Congressional Leadership Fund. 2016-04-27. Retrieved 2017-06-01.
  8. ^ a b Drusch, Andrea (May 12, 2017). "National Journal Daily: May 12, 2017". Retrieved June 9, 2017.
  9. ^ Andrew Joseph, "Conston Leaves House for Congressional Leadership Fund, Other Orgs", National Journal, 2 April 2012.
  10. ^ Anthony J. Bazzo, "Congressional Leadership Fund Lands Top hill Talent for Fundraising", 17 July 2012.
  11. ^ "PAC profile: Congressional Leadership Fund", Center for Public Integrity, Accessed 22 May 2013.
  12. ^ "Congressional Leadership Fund Summary",, Accessed 22 May 2013.
  13. ^ Alexander Burns, "House GOP outside spenders did better", Politico, 8 November 2012.
  14. ^ Lindsay Young, "Outside spenders' return on investment", Sunlight Foundation, 17 December 2012.
  15. ^ Dan Eggen, "Chevron donates $2.5 million to GOP Super PAC", The Washington Post, 26 October 2012.
  16. ^ "CONGRESSIONAL LEADERSHIP FUND - committee overview -". Retrieved 2017-06-01.
  17. ^ "CONGRESSIONAL LEADERSHIP FUND - committee overview -". Retrieved 2017-06-01.
  18. ^ "Democratic House Candidates Were Also Targets of Russian Hacking". Retrieved 2018-08-29.
  19. ^ "GOP Super PAC Airs Closing Ad in Montana Special Election". Roll Call. 2017-05-19. Retrieved 2017-06-01.
  20. ^ "Trump taps Montana Republican Rep. Ryan Zinke as interior secretary". NBC News. Retrieved 2017-06-01.
  21. ^ Martin, Jonathan; Burns, Alexander (2017-05-25). "Greg Gianforte, Montana Republican, Captures House Seat Despite Assault Charge". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-06-01.
  22. ^ BOARD, THE BILLINGS GAZETTE EDITORIAL. "Gazette opinion: We're pulling our endorsement of Greg Gianforte". The Billings Gazette. Retrieved 2017-06-02.
  23. ^ "Missoulian rescinds Gianforte endorsement". Retrieved 2017-06-02.
  24. ^ "AN IR VIEW: Independent Record withdraws endorsement of Gianforte". Helena Independent Record. Retrieved 2017-06-02.
  25. ^ a b Martin, Jonathan; Burns, Alexander (2017-05-25). "Greg Gianforte, Montana Republican, Captures House Seat Despite Assault Charge". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-06-02.
  26. ^ CNN, Kyung Lah, Noa Yadidi and Carma Hassan. "Gianforte pleads guilty to assault in incident with reporter". CNN. Retrieved 2017-06-14.
  27. ^ "Browse Independent expenditures -". Retrieved 2017-06-07.
  28. ^ "GOP attack ad twists Ossoff donation sources in Georgia race". @politifact. Retrieved 2017-06-07.
  29. ^ "GOP Super PAC Airs New Ad Against Georgia Democrat". Roll Call. 2017-03-10. Retrieved 2017-06-07.
  30. ^ Master, Cyra (2017-03-01). "Super PAC uses college party footage to attack Dem in Georgia House race". TheHill. Retrieved 2017-06-07.
  31. ^ "C.I.A. Officer-Turned-Candidate Says PAC Obtained Her Security Application". Retrieved 2018-08-29.
  32. ^ "The Most Inflammatory Ads of the Midterms". Retrieved 2018-10-24.
  33. ^ "Analysis | Fact-checking Republican attack ads in tight House races". Washington Post. Retrieved 2018-10-24.

External links

  • Official website
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