If you were curious, talking on television for 21 straight hours is very lucrative. Over the last quarter, Ted Cruz's still-young political action committee pulled in $797,000 during the period that included his extended C-SPAN advertorial. It's nearly twice what Cruz pulled in the quarter prior.
Cruz wasn't the only one weaving political obstructionism into gold. As the shutdown approached, a number of conservative organizations began sending out fundraising emails, generally suggesting that a donation to their organizations would help halt Obamacare in its tracks. Heritage Action, as you can see at right, raised $330,000 for its efforts, vaguely articulated as ensuring that language to defund Obamacare was included in House and Senate bills. (The latter never happened.)
But even Heritage Action — the group with which Cruz toured the country over the summer, advocating for a fight over defunding — couldn't match Cruz himself. His October report, which covers July 1 to September 30, notes that his PAC has $378,000 on-hand after the nearly $800,000 haul, money that will be used to support conservative candidates and issues close to Cruz's heart. In the second quarter of the year, the first during which the Texas senator's PAC ("Ted Cruz Victory Committee") raised any money, it raised only $412,000. That success is the second indicator that Ted Cruz's strategy is fulfilling his political goals. (This was the first.)
A sad footnote to all of this is Utah Senator Mike Lee. Lee's PAC, Constitutional Conservatives Fund, contributed to Cruz's Senate bid in 2012. Lee was also the author of the letter that first called on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to strip Obamacare funding out of any budget bill — a letter that galvanized congressional support for the movement. But Cruz's flair for theatrics and willingness to throw caution to the wind was far more profitable. Lee helped Cruz's filibuster, appearing at various points to ask Cruz questions, giving Cruz a breather — a role that meant he got a lot of screen time, too. But in September, Lee's PAC didn't do quite as well. It raised $525.
Update, 8:00 p.m.: Our apologies. We vastly underreported one of the Senators' fundraising. Cruz's. His state director, John Drogin, emails to note that combining all of the senator's accounts (including his reelection and leadership PACs) yields a haul of $1.19 million from 12,000 individual donors. So there you go.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.