Rick Perry’s presidential campaign is trying to remain a player in national politics even though the candidate dropped out of the race nearly a month ago.
Perry’s presidential campaign treasurer, Sal Purpura, is asking the Federal Election Commission whether it can use certain donated funds to create a federal political action committee — possibly even a Super PAC — that could solicit unlimited contributions and potentially run ads to support favored candidates or causes.
Purpura asked the FEC on Monday to render an official opinion about whether Perry could convert his campaign to “non-connected PAC status.” Purpura said the campaign is considering a variety of conversion options, including one that would create a Super PAC.
Perry "just wants to look at what options there are," said his spokeswoman, Catherine Frazier.
"He's going to continue, regardless of what happens, to work to promote policies of fiscal and social conservatism," Frazier said. "And he's going to work to support causes and candidates with those same goals in mind."
The campaign is proposing to fund initial operations of the new committee with some of the $270,000 it had left in the bank when Perry quit the race Jan. 19.
That money came from donors who were giving Perry money that could only be used if he made it into a general election. Perry’s campaign is now asking them if they would be willing to redesignate their donations to benefit a newly created federal PAC.
At the time Purpura wrote the letter, though, many had asked for their money back.
“The committee has already received written redesignation requests for nearly $30,000 and has received written refund requests for at least $100,000 of these funds,” Purpura wrote.
If the FEC turns Perry down, Purpura is asking if the campaign can send the money to his state gubernatorial campaign committee. Perry has not ruled out running for a fourth term in 2014. If he were to win, Perry could end up serving as Texas governor for a total of 18 years.
The governor has also indicated that he may run for president again in 2016. In a recent interview with ABC News, Perry called the 2012 race "exhilarating."
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