Washington Bureau

05.13.14

Bank Didn't Give Unsecured Loan To Super PAC

The report that a bank had given an unsecured loan to a superPAC turned out to be based on flawed FEC reporting.

An eye-raising story reported by Roll Call Tuesday morning about a bank giving an unsecured loan to a Mississippi super PAC is based on inaccurate Federal Elections Commission data, according to both the bank and the super PAC.

Based on FEC documents, Roll Call reported that Mississippi Conservatives, a group supporting incumbent U.S. senator Thad Cochran in state’s June GOP primary against Tea Party challenger Chris McDaniel, took out an unsecured loan of $230,150 from Trustmark Bank in Jackson, Mississippi on January 29. However, the FEC form used by the super PAC simply asked if they were any guarantors according to its treasurer, Brian Perry. The loan doesn’t have guarantors but is instead based on cash collateral.  As a result, Perry said the group is currently looking into whether to amend its FEC report to make that clear.

In its article, Roll Call reported that “this may be the first reported unsecured bank loan to a super PAC.” The bank official who signed for the loan, Harry Walker, confirmed that there was collateral scoffed at the notion that any political loan would be unsecured. He told The Daily Beast that “most national political banks are pretty careful on political loans.”

In the past quarter, Mississippi Conservatives raised $717,993 in total and spent $591,631 in expenditures against McDaniel.