Jonathan Ellis notes that Senator John Thune's leadership PAC, the Heartland Values PAC (aw, what a sweet little name!) is raking in more cash . The nearly $1.3 million Senator Thune has raised to sprinkle on other candidates tops the $1.19 million HVPAC rasied for the whole 2012 election cycle. With some push during the October excitement, Thune could beat his Heartland Values high of $1.55 million raised in the 2006 cycle, when he was flush with the giant-killing buzz of his 2004 Daschle defeat.
But Thune is far from the biggest leadership PAC player. Open Secrets shows 16 Republicans outdoing him in contributions so far this cycle, including Orrin Hatch, Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, and, at the top of the heap, Eric Cantor. The former House Majority Leader raised $5.5 million to share with his fellow Republicans in 2012 and $3.8 million this year before losing his primary to David Brat.
For local comparisons, Senator Tim Johnson's South Dakota First PAC maxed out at $581K in 2012 and has drawn under $240K this year. Rep. Kristi Noem has been spreading even less intra-party love: her Keeping Republican Ideas Strong Timely and Inventive has just cracked $51K this cycle. She'd better look out, or Dan Lederman and his Rushmore PAC will start buying more friends than she can!