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End of Campaign Means Santorum Could Grab Hold of Super PAC

Jessica McGowan/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Former presidential candidate Rick Santorum put out a statement Wednesday blasting President Obama’s decision to support same-sex marriage.

Although his thoughts on the topic were not unusual, the group it came from was not the old Rick Santorum for President organization.  Instead, it came from the Red, White, and Blue Fund, the pro-Santorum super PAC.

That’s because the super PAC is becoming Santorum’s PAC, while also remaining his super PAC.  Yes, it’s confusing, but it’s a legal change that turns the Red, White, and Blue Fund into a hybrid political action committee that will also work as a traditional leadership PAC to push Santorum’s message, support his political travel, cover administration costs and donate money to candidates he supports with similar views.

There is one key change on the super PAC side: Now that Santorum is no longer a candidate or office-holder, he can coordinate with his super PAC, whereas that was forbidden when he was running for public office.

Much like one wallet with two different credit cards, the fund will have one name and one staff, but two bank accounts.  The hybrid PAC will make individual expenditures on behalf of candidates, which means, like Mitt Romney’s super PAC, it can run ads or drop mail on behalf of a candidate, but cannot coordinate with that candidate.  It can also take in unlimited donations.

The fund will also work as a traditional leadership PAC, which will push Santorum’s message and political agenda whether he is espousing it or whether conservative candidates he supports are doing so.

The super PAC will still not be able to pay off Santorum’s campaign debt, but the PAC will be able to donate $5,000 to his effort.  This is one of the major differences between the two accounts.  The super PAC can accept unlimited donations while the regular PAC can only accept $5,000 per calendar year from individuals.

The hybrid is in it’s very early stages.  Even longtime Santorum adviser John Brabender said he doesn’t have all the details yet.

“We are still concentrating on winding down everything associated with the campaign,” Brabender said.  “That [Red, White, and Blue Fund] will be part of what Rick is involved in, but it will just be one part.  In a sense, the PAC will help other candidates and, certainly, Rick will play a role in which of those candidates Rick will help.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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