It's got Rick Perry's name, but it's not Rick Perry's PAC.
A new federal super PAC, Americans for Rick Perry, filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission this week, but Dave Carney, Perry's top political consultant, told the Tribune this afternoon that the organization — which can raise and spend unlimited money on political contests — isn't affiliated with the governor of Texas or with his explorations of the presidential race.
The PAC's filing lists Robert Schuman of La Jolla, Calif., as the designated agent. Schuman, a Republican, told The Wall Street Journal that he's encouraging Perry to run and that he'll try to win the Iowa straw poll for the governor next month. Schuman has hired Craig Schoenfeld to run the Iowa effort; he's one of several people who left Newt Gingrich's campaign last month (others in that group include Carney and Rob Johnson, who was campaign manager for Gingrich and who ran Perry's 2010 reelection campaign in Texas). Schuman has also hired Jeff LaCourse as the PAC's national political director. He was most recently with the Republican National Committee.
Carney said that Perry doesn't have anything to do with the California folks and that people giving to that cause should know they're not giving to the governor. He compared the new super PACs that appropriate candidate and campaign names to internet domain squatters.
"I'm always suspicious," Carney said, speaking generally about the practice. "It's a huge problem."