New Minority-Focused PAC Launches

Janie Lorber, Roll Call, March 21, 2012

PAC Plus, a new minority-focused super PAC, launched today with one of Washington, D.C.’s most powerful Democrats in its corner.

John Podesta, the founder of the Center for American Progress and a former White House chief of staff, will advise the group. PAC Plus is an outgrowth of PowerPAC, a 527 organization that spent $10 million in 2007 to help President Barack Obama secure the Democratic nomination.

PAC Plus expects to spend another $10 million this year to mobilize blacks and Hispanics in support of Democrats in six states with large minority populations—Texas, New Mexico, California, Georgia, Arizona and Ohio.

By targeting Texas and Georgia—two states that will almost certainly vote Republican this year—the group hopes to cultivate future candidates and voters.

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The PAC Plus mission is sweeping: A get-out-the-vote campaign combined with race-specific independent expenditures focusing on the presidential contest, Congressional and state elections. Few organizations operate on such a grand scale, and Phillips acknowledged that the mandate would likely be trimmed to fill the gaps in the existing network of Democratic outside groups.

PAC Plus appears to be in a class of its own, and the group’s founders said they hope to bring cultural competency to existing efforts to appeal to blacks and Hispanics.

“It’s not enough to just speak in a different language to those voters,” said Julie Martinez Ortega, a partner with the Project New America Latino who serves as the PAC’s vice president for policy and advocacy. “It’s actually about transmitting a very different message . . . that is going to, in fact, resonate.”

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  • There are already two big PACs that focus on minorities:

    1.  The Democrat Party

    2.  The Republican Party

  • haroldcrews

    If the PAC’s focus is the Presidential election and Congressional elections then it is largely a wasted effort.  Minorities are going to turn out to vote for Obama regardless of how much money is spent on his behalf.  Congressional races in which black Democrats are competitive are in heavily gerrymandered districts already.  They’re designed to be minority districts.  Republican opposition is little more than token opposition in those districts.  The only real area this race based PAC would make a difference is in state-wide elections.  This super PAC promises to increase the influence of minorities in the Democratic Party and promises to drive even more whites from the Dems.

    • The_Bobster

      Obongo has already stated that he won’t share his PAC money with Congressional candidates. They’re on their own. However, a lot of them won’t need much help in their Afro-rigged districts.

      • The latest news is that Obama’s re-elect Super PAC, the House Democrat Super PAC, the Senate Democrat Super PAC and the state government Democrat Super PAC are all merging.  The (real) reason is that none of them have the money they thought, so merging them into one means that the money can be sent to where it can be most effective into saving Democrats.

        • haroldcrews

          Stands to figure since they still believe in central planning.

        • The_Bobster

          http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/03/why-obama-wont-share-his-cash-with-congressional-democrats/254271/

          Why Obama Won’t Share His Cash With Congressional Democrats
          By Major Garrett

          Mar 9 2012, 2:49 PM ET Mar 9 2012, 2:49 PM ET
          Uneasy about the threat of outside spending from super PACs, the presidents campaign has told down-ballot candidates not to expect monetary help. In Obamaland, the 3 a.m. phone call has become the 3 a.m. email. In their own way, both speak to a crisis mentality and a groping for security. The contexts couldn’t be more different, but the anxiety — real and imagined –is no less genuine. To review, the 3 a.m. phone call was in a TV ad Hillary Rodham Clinton ran against Obama in the heat of the Texas and Ohio primaries in 2008. It asked voters to ponder the fate of America if Barack Obama were president and a national crisis struck in the middle of the night. Now, the 3 a.m. email is one sent by campaign manager Jim Messina to Obama supporters the morning after Super Tuesday. Messina sent the email at 3:14 a.m. EST, less than an hour after Super Tuesday officially ended with Mitt Romney winning the Alaska caucuses. Messina was begging for money, imploring potential donors to pony up and not be lulled into a false state of euphoria by the protracted GOP brawl for the nomination. “Too many Obama supporters are waiting until there’s a clear Republican nominee to make their first donation,” Messina wrote. “That kind of thinking loses elections.” When asked about the middle-of-the-night missive, Messina sheepishly replied: “I’m not a big sleeper.” In fact, Obama’s reelection campaign has a split personality when it comes to the general election. One side is confident and growing more so about the turbulent GOP primary, an improving U.S. economy, and better numbers for Obama in swing states. The other side harbors fears bordering on paranoia about massive spending by the GOP and outside super PACs for the party’s nominee. “There is already unprecedented super-PAC spending going on,” Messina said. “There will be super-PAC spending in key states against us. We have to be prepared for that.” To prepare for it, Obama’s campaign has put the rest of the Democratic Party on a starvation diet. Messina and senior White House adviser David Plouffe (Obama’s 2008 campaign manager) have told top Democrats that they won’t receive any cash transfers from Obama’s campaign or the Democratic National Committee. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi sought commitments for $30 million, the amount distributed to them in the 2008 and 2010 election cycles. Not this time.