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Super committee member Upton creates joint fundraising committee

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Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., one of the members of the Joint Select Committee for Deficit Reduction, filed paperwork Tuesday with the Federal Election Commission to create a joint fundraising committee. Contributions collected by the committee will be split between Upton's campaign and leadership PAC.

The creation of a joint committee, the Upton Victory Committee, allows fundraising that benefits both Upton's political action committee, TRUST PAC (Team Republicans for Utilizing Sensible Tactics), which distributes thousands of dollars to Republican candidates, and his campaign, Upton for All of Us. FEC rules require that money given to the joint committee be split between the committees it represents by a formula agreed to by the committees and disclosed to the public when soliciting contributions.

According to the statement of organizing the committee will be able to pay fundraising expenses and collect contributions on behalf of the PAC and campaign. Keith Davis is listed as treasurer of both the joint committee and the PAC.

Earlier this month, House Speaker John Boehner named Upton to the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (the “Super Committee”), tasked with finding the federal government $1.5 trillion in savings or revenue over the next decade.

The PAC raised $468,600 in the 2010 cycle, and so far has matched 79% of that total – $371,100 – in the 2012 cycle, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Upton's campaign committee raised $2 million in the 2010 election, and has raised  $783,109 so far in the 2012 cycle.

Upton, who has a reputation for supporting relatively moderate positions, including a measure to phase out incandescent light bulbs, faced a challenge from his right in a 2010 primary election from former Michigan state Rep. Jack Hoogendyk. Upton later said that the light bulb measure was misinterpreted, the New York Times reported, and supported a repeal effort.

Last June, an invitation to a “Friends of Fred Happy Hour,” reported on by Sunlight Foundation's Party Time, touted Upton's participation as well as a roster of special guests including Boehner and majority whip Eric Cantor. The fundraiser, hosted by lobbyists for the health, energy and telecom sectors, asked for contributions up to $5,000 to benefit TRUST PAC.

A voicemail message left with Upton's office was not immediately returned.