Jeb Bush's Right to Rise super PAC is shutting down; where did the money go?

Cover letter
Cover letter
Published March 9, 2016

Right to Rise, the super PAC political committee supporting Jeb Bush is preparing to refund about $12 million in unspent money to donors who gave at least $1,000.

"We could not be more proud of Jeb, the campaign he ran, and the hopeful and optimistic message of conservative reform that he communicated throughout this primary for the Republican presidential nomination," CEO Mike Murphy and finance director Mason Fink wrote in a letter donors received this week (PDF). "Because Governor Bush has suspended his campaign, Right to Rise USA is now proceeding with an orderly shutdown or activities. Once we have a comprehensive calculation of our remaining resources (including legal and FEC compliance reserves), we will distribute the contribution refunds to our donors on a pro rata basis."

Out of the nearly $119 million Right to Rise raised, a summary included with the letter says $89.8 million on "voter contact" of all sorts, $5.98 million on fundraising costs, $3.77 million on polling and data analytics, and $1.17 million on research and political direction.

It touts, "No open ended commissions. All vendor contracts included fee caps," though cynics about how the money was spent will note that contractors and vendors built their compensation directly into the prices they charged.

Of the TV advertising, Right to Rise says nearly 52 percent went for pro-Bush, nearly 15 percent for "oppose Trump ads," and 33.4 percent for "other candidate contrast ads," aka anti-Rubio, anti-Kasich, and anti-Christie ads.