Leader of Put Vets First! PAC prioritizes telemarketers and himself

The leader of a veterans-focused political action committee rapidly increased payments to himself late last year, following a Center for Public Integrity investigation into his political and charitable operations.

Brian Arthur Hampton, a retired Army major and treasurer of the Put Vets First! PAC, paid himself $20,350 in December 2017 alone — more than three times his compensation in December 2016, according to new disclosures filed with the Federal Election Commission. Few leaders of federal PACs earn that much money.

In all, Hampton paid himself $110,000 from his PAC during 2017. Federal income tax records indicate Hampton also earned about $340,000 in 2016 from two veterans charities he runs out of the same office in Falls Church, Virginia: the Circle of Friends for American Veterans and the Center for American Homeless Veterans. (Tax records for 2017 are not yet available.)

A Center for Public Integrity investigation published in December revealed how Hampton’s organizations have used telemarketers to raise millions of dollars from donors in the past decade — but these fundraisers-for-hire are keeping 85 to 90 percent of the money. Most of the rest pays for overhead, including Hampton’s compensation. Just $7,000 — or 0.3 percent — paid for unspecified “veterans advocacy,” according to the PAC’s federal disclosures.

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