News & Politics

Mike Huckabee Paid Own Family $400,000 With His Political Action Committee

He's not the only politician redirecting political funds to his relatives.

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee is considering a run for the GOP nomination for the presidency. This effort includes releasing a new book, giving speeches in Iowa, and taking the lead of a political action committee, Huck PAC.

Mother Jones has the scoop today on where the money from Huck PAC is actually going. Tim Murphy reports that Huck PAC gave $165,042 to his niece Katherine Harris between 2008 and 2013 for being first a staffer and then a contracted worker. His daughter Sarah Huckabee received $104,308 as the PAC's executive director. And his daughter-in-law Lauren Huckabee netted $111,273 (his former non-profit America Takes Action, Inc. also gave her $60,548).

Murphy notes that Huckabee isn't the only politician to redirect political funds to his own family members. One report found that 32 members of Congress had paid family members with campaign funds over just a two-year period.

But what is more unique is how little Huck PAC actually did for the GOP candidates it was supposed to be boosting. Murphy writes that “Huck PAC has never spent more than 12 percent of its funds on candidates or other PACs. It gave only 5 percent of its revenues—that is $47,000 of $1,063,142—to candidates during the 2012 cycle, when Huckabee briefly flirted with a second presidential run.”

All of this paints a picture of Huckabee as less committed to Republican political causes and more interested in self-promotion and the fortunes of his own family members. The response from Huck PAC's executive director Chad Gallagher to the Mother Jones story was brief and unapologetic: “The family who worked on Governor Huckabee's presidential campaign in 2008 helped get the PAC started and no family members have been on the PAC's payroll in over two years.” 

Zaid Jilani is an AlterNet staff writer. Follow @zaidjilani on Twitter.

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