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Posted at 5:30 PM ET, 01/28/2011

Afternoon Fix: Tim Pawlenty's PAC takes in $2 million during 2010; David Rivera paid himself $60K in unexplained reimbursements

By Chris Cillizza

Former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty's (R) PAC raised $2 million during 2010; the controversy over Rep. David Rivera's (R-Fla.) finances deepens; and the Club for Growth begs to differ with the Tea Party Express over Sen. Orrin Hatch's (R-Utah) record.

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* Former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty's (R) Freedom First PAC took in $2 million during 2010, including $48,000 during the period from Nov. 23 to Dec. 31, and had about $155,000 cash on hand as of the end of December, according to new Federal Election Commission filings. Pawlenty's total raised in 2010 is less than former Alaska governor Sarah Palin's (R) $3.5 million and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney's (R) more than $5 million. "After a great Election Day, we gave our donors a break," Pawlenty spokesperson Alex Conant said, noting that Pawlenty donated to more than 200 candidates in 2010.

* Florida Republican Rep. David Rivera paid himself more than $60,000 in unexplained campaign reimbursements over eight years, according to an Associated Press analysis. Rivera, who is facing a state criminal investigation of his finances, responded that all of his expenses were properly reported, saying in a statement that "the campaign reports speak for themselves."

* Former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel's Chicago mayoral campaign is up with a new radio spot featuring President Obama.

* The Club for Growth PAC released a statement taking issue with remarks made by Tea Party Express strategist Sal Russo on Thursday that Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) is "as good as it gets." "Orrin Hatch has done some good things over the decades, but six term incumbents who vote for TARP, the Bridge to Nowhere, the Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac bailout, SCHIP, and higher taxes are quite clearly not 'as good as it gets,'" Club for Growth President Chris Chocola said.


* Obama will visit Penn State on Groundhog Day, Feb. 2, to take a tour of work being done at the Energy Innovation Hub at the Philadelphia Navy Yard.

* Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) has hired the Concordia Group's Nick Ryan and Jill Latham to serve as Iowa advisers to his all-but-certain 2012 presidential campaign. Latham served as Iowa Political Director for Romney's 2008 campaign, while Ryan, who is also the founder of the conservative American Future Fund, previously served a top adviser to Rep. Jim Nussle (R-Iowa).

* Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) will visit New Hampshire on Mar. 18 to deliver the keynote address at the Manchester City Republican Party's Lincoln-Reagan Day Dinner.

* Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee (R) will travel to Israel on Jan. 30 and will meet on Jan. 31 with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyaju. The trip will be Huckabee's 13th to Israel and comes a little over a week after Romney's most recent visit to Jerusalem.

* Will tomorrow's Saturday Night Live feature a skit of Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) looking into the wrong camera for her State of the Union response? Or one featuring Andy Samberg playing Rahm Emanuel? Or both? (The Fix can dream)


It'sa me, Mario!

With Felicia Sonmez and Aaron Blake

By Chris Cillizza  | January 28, 2011; 5:30 PM ET
Categories:  Afternoon Fix  
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