The Brownback Endorsement

Last October, Mike Huckabee was hoping to score an endorsement from another second-tier, right-wing candidate who had dropped out, but Sam Brownback ended up backing John McCain. Huckabee, who was even more cash-strapped back then, probably never stood a chance. As the Los Angeles Times reports, Brownback had financial problems that only a nominee with deep-pocketed contributors could fix:

Some of John McCain’s largest political donors sent checks to failed GOP presidential candidate Sam Brownback to help him pay off his campaign debt in the days after the Kansas senator endorsed McCain. …

Brownback’s endorsement of McCain on Nov. 7 gave the Republican senator from Arizona a much-needed boost at a time when his campaign was faltering; it also helped bolster McCain’s credentials among conservatives who have been skeptical of him.

As of Dec. 31, Brownback’s presidential campaign remained more than $32,000 in debt. But his campaign made $226,000 in payments in the final three months of 2007, aided in part by donations from McCain backers, Federal Election Commission filings show.

Brownback’s filing indicates that after he endorsed McCain, at least 17 donors gave him the maximum $2,300 each — totaling nearly $40,000. Those donors are among McCain’s largest contributors, having given almost $250,000 to his various campaign accounts in recent years.

Meanwhile, McCain is trying to get his money’s worth, name-dropping Brownback left and right while talking with conservative Catholics.