A new super PAC placing seven-figure ad buys for Sen. Kelly Loeffler appears, at first glance, to be operating entirely independently of the Georgia Republican’s re-election effort. But a closer look at the players involved reveals some notable ties to a pro-Loeffler dark-money group with mysteriously deep pockets—and to Loeffler’s campaign itself.
The super PAC, Georgia United Victory, is chaired by Martha Zoller, a former aide to Gov. Brian Kemp, who appointed Loeffler to her Senate seat in December. Zoller is also a former congressional candidate who narrowly lost to Loeffler’s top Republican opponent, Rep. Doug Collins, in a 2012 House primary. In the less than two weeks since GUV was formed, the group has spent $1.85 million on digital and television ads attacking Collins, Loeffler’s most formidable Republican challenger in November’s 20-candidate “jungle” style special election.
Zoller’s involvement, to say nothing of the group’s acronym, has fueled speculation that Kemp and his formidable political apparatus are behind the super PAC. But a PAY DIRT investigation reveals ties to other forces with more direct involvement in Loeffler’s re-election contest, including the political vendor to which Loeffler’s campaign has steered nearly three-quarters of all the money it’s spent since last year.