Blackburn returns Club for Conservatives PAC money

Republican U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn’s Senate campaign has returned contributions from a PAC that’s facing scrutiny from campaign finance regulators, Roll Call reports.

The Blackburn returned one contribution from the Club for Conservatives PAC for $2,700 and returned another check for $2,700.

“Club for Conservatives PAC did not meet our standards for transparency,” Blackburn campaign spokeswoman Abbi Sigler told the paper.

According to roll call:

Club for Conservatives burst on the scene in October when Brooke Pendley, a student at East Carolina University, started a PAC with help from her father and sent out numerous fundraising emails to boost Republican Roy Moore, who was running for Senate in Alabama.

The PAC was initially registered with the Federal Election Commission in Lexington, Kentucky, and has a mailbox in Charlottesville, Virginia, and an office for volunteers in Clemmons, North Carolina. There’s more background on Club for Conservatives here, here, and here.

“Blackburn’s was not the only campaign that had questions, but it was the only campaign that was nervous enough (or maybe flush with enough cash) that it returned the contribution,” Nate Pendley, Brooke’s father and the PAC’s assistant treasurer, said in an email.


After a strong start in the heat of the Alabama Senate race and fundraising off sexual misconduct allegations against Minnesota Democratic Sen. Al Franken last year, contributions to Club for Conservatives dipped sharply at the beginning of the year. The PAC raised $162,000 in six weeks from the middle of October to the end of 2017, but the PAC took in just $15,311 in the first three months of 2018, according to the first quarter report filed by Nathanael Pendley on April 18.

On June 6, the FEC sent a letter to Club for Conservatives with four questions.

The commission took issue with the year-end report not being signed by treasurer Brooke Pendley (it was signed by Nate Pendley), having incomplete identification for some donors of $200 or more, potentially not filing correct 24-hour independent expenditure notices, and a missing memo on a $13,000 debt to Breitbart News Network LLC.

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