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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Friday, May 8, 2020

Super PAC, Left and Right

In Defying the Odds, we discuss the 2016 campaign. The 2019 update includes a chapter on the 2018 midterms. The 2020 race, the subject of our next book, is well under  way.  

Zach Montellaro at Politico:
Justice Democrats, the hub for insurgent Democrats, has joined the rank of super PACs. On Friday, the group’s PAC filed a notice with the Federal Elections Commission announcing that it intends to become a so-called Carey Committee (which is also known as a hybrid PAC) — effectively forming a super PAC in addition to their already active PAC. 
The move is the latest example of the party’s liberal wing embracing the fundraising strategies that have been scorned by some on the left. (A spokesperson for the Justice Democrats did not respond to a voicemail or email left by Score on Sunday asking to talk about the group’s plans.) A group of top aides to Sanders’ presidential bid announced last week that they were forming a super PAC of their own to convince Sanders’ supporters to back Biden. Chuck Rocha, another Sanders aide, also formed his own super PAC, called Nuestro PAC, that aims to mobilize Latino voters.
Rocha poked at that underlying tension among some progressives who are wary of super PACs in a video he posted to Twitter over the weekend. “Just because Nuestro PAC is a quote-unquote super PAC, we ain’t taking no money from corporations. We ain't going out to work for none of these assholes I hate all my life,” Rocha said in the video. “We are literally going to the movement and trying to raise money to go out and get more Latinos to vote.”
The devil will be in the details (and the FEC reports) with these new groups. Sanders actually had over $700,000 worth of super PAC support during the primaries — but it was from Vote Nurses Values PAC, which has been funded by a nurses’ union and didn’t draw anywhere near the same kind of ire that other outside groups drew. Also worth remembering is Our Revolution, the Sanders-founded dark money nonprofit group. To try to fend off charges of hypocrisy, the group had voluntarily released the name of donors who gave over $250 — but not the exact dollar amount, which is less than the level of disclosure for super PACs. (The group said its largest donor gave $25,000.)

 Anna Massoglia and Karl Evers-Hillstrom at Open Secrets: 
After lying low for several election cycles, influential Republican super PAC American Crossroads is jumping into the 2020 presidential election to back President Donald Trump.

American Crossroads recently reported spending nearly $367,000 to support Trump in a 13-state text messaging campaign. The group placed its biggest bet of more than $89,000 in Florida, where presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden is polling slightly ahead of Trump.

The super PAC’s early investment indicates that Trump’s reelection bid may find support from outside groups that didn’t back his 2016 run. American Crossroads spent $91 million to support Mitt Romney and oppose President Barack Obama in 2012. But it spent just $135,000 to oppose Hillary Clinton in 2016 and spent nothing to support Trump.