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A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Congressional Leadership Fund

Political leanings: Republican

2022 total spending: $260.6 million

The Congressional Leadership Fund’s purpose is to maintain and expand the historically thin Republican majority in the House of Representatives. The group was formed in October 2011 as the conservative counter to the liberal House Majority PAC and is endorsed by House Republican leadership.

CLF is what’s known as a hybrid PAC or Carey committee, meaning it “has the ability to operate both as a traditional PAC, contributing funds to a candidate’s committee, and as a super PAC, which makes independent expenditures,” according to OpenSecrets, a nonpartisan organization that tracks money in politics. Such organizations must have separate bank accounts for those purposes.

Dan Conston serves as the CLF’s president, as well as the president of its sister 501(c)(4), the American Action Network. Conston has managed communications for several Republican congressional campaigns and served as communications director for former Chief Deputy Whip Rep. Peter Roskam

As of March 4, the CLF had raised more than $65.6 million and spent about $15.3 million in the 2024 election cycle, Federal Election Commission records show. American Action Network once again leads all donors to the group, having contributed roughly $17.3 million.

Major individual donors include Jeff Yass, co-founder of the trading firm Susquehanna International Group, who has given $10 million, and Timothy Mellon, businessman and grandson of banker and former Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon, who has contributed $5 million. Paul Singer, founder of the hedge fund Elliott Investment Management, and Craig Duchossois, executive chair of private equity firm The Duchossois Group, have donated $2.5 million and $2 million, respectively.

As of March 6, the CLF had spent over $10 million on independent expenditures, which are ads or other communications that advocate the election or defeat of federal candidates. That includes over $5 million advocating against the election of 13 Democratic House candidates – most of which was dedicated to opposing Tom Suozzi, who defeated Republican Mazi Pilip in the special election for New York’s open 3rd Congressional District seat in February. 

The group also has spent nearly $1.1 million supporting GOP Rep. David Valadao’s reelection campaign in California’s 22nd Congressional District and over $750,000 backing Republican state Rep. Derek Merrin’s campaign to unseat Democratic Rep. Marcy Kaptur in Ohio’s 9th Congressional District. Additionally, the CLF has given $420,000 in contributions to the National Republican Congressional Committee and 48 Republican candidate campaigns — all donations were $15,000 or less.

In the 2022 cycle, of the nearly $260.6 million the CLF raised for the midterm elections, it spent over $227 million on independent expenditures, according to OpenSecrets. In all, the PAC spent more than $203.9 million against 62 Democratic House candidates, and 25 of the targeted candidates went on to lose their races. The group also donated roughly $840,000 to the campaign committees of 102 Republican House candidates.

Almost $50.7 million of its 2022 fundraising came from American Action Network, while the CLF’s top individual donor during the midterms was Ken Griffin, CEO of the hedge fund firm Citadel, who contributed $27 million. Timothy Mellon also donated $15 million, while Miriam Adelson, a longtime GOP donor, gave $12.5 million.

FactCheck.org Undergraduate Fellow Sean Christensen contributed to this article.