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New Report: Lou Barletta Caught Using His “Ethically Questionable” PAC to Line His Own Pockets

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New reporting is exposing Republican candidate for governor Lou Barletta’s PAC for an extremely high rate of overhead costs compared to actual political spending, a ratio that suggests the PAC is “an ethically questionable venture designed to benefit Barletta personally.”

According to the report from HuffPost, while Lou Barletta founded the PAC to support right-wing political candidates, its spending history indicates the PAC is doing just about anything but that. In 2020, 79% of the PAC’s total spending was blown on “operating expenditures,” while only 11% of total spending was contributed to political candidates or other PACs.

Among these operating expenditures are funds to charter a coach bus and sporadic rental payments to Barletta’s wife for an office space co-owned by both Barletta and his wife.

Specifically, the report adds the “rental payments stand out. The PAC doesn’t state which property it rented from Mary Grace Barletta. In all likelihood though, the payments were for an office property…that Barletta jointly owns with his wife,” while the payments also “varied dramatically over the course of the 2020 election cycle, raising questions about how the rent was calculated and why.” 

Using a political operation for personal financial gain is a strategy perfected by Barletta’s idol, Donald Trump. Barletta has been an “early and outspoken backer” of Trump and was one of the first members of Congress to endorse him for president. Now, it appears he’s taking a page right out of his playbook.

“Lou Barletta is a corrupt politician who created this shady PAC to funnel money back into his own pockets,” said DGA Deputy Communications Director Sam Newton. “While maybe that’s not surprising for Barletta who ran his town’s finances into the ground as mayor, Pennsylvanians deserve better. Barletta and the other 10+ candidates in the crowded Republican primary continue to prove they only care about their own self-serving agendas.”