Will They or Won’t They? 2020 Democrats Mull Use of Super PACs | NTK Network Will They or Won’t They? 2020 Democrats Mull Use of Super PACs

Will They or Won’t They? 2020 Democrats Mull Use of Super PACs

“Every Democrat should approach the idea of a super PAC in the primary with caution,” Robby Mook told the New York Times.

By NTK Staff | 12.11.2018 @10:15am
Will They or Won’t They? 2020 Democrats Mull Use of Super PACs

Democrats mulling 2020 presidential campaigns are stuck between a rock and a hard place: embrace an aligning super PAC and the potential scorn among voters that comes with it, or shun outside money and make your campaign finance challenges that much more difficult.

A recent report by the New York Times indicates it’s an issue many Democrats are wrestling with as they mull 2020 campaigns. Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) are widely expected to opt against using super PACs, given their strong public rebuke of such tactics.

The same may also be true for former Vice President Joe Biden, who is also considering another White House run. His 2017 book included a passage that stated that had he run in 2016, he would have done so without a super PAC.

But not everyone on the left is swearing them off just yet – Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Kamala Harris (D-CA) are all quietly weighing the options, according to the Times.

The super PAC calculation can be complicated. Both Ms. Gillibrand and Ms. Harris, for instance, have deep relationships with home-state donors who could finance them. But both have also invested heavily in creating a digital network of small donors ahead of a possible run. …

For Ms. Harris, there have been discussions in California of a super PAC that would include two former top advisers to her past campaigns, Brian Brokaw and Dan Newman, according to people familiar with the matter.

For Ms. Gillibrand, Ross Offinger, a former fund-raiser for the New York senator, has quietly been reaching out to donors to feel out interest in a pro-Gillibrand super PAC, floating the name of Bill Hyers, who ran Ms. Gillibrand’s first campaign for the House in 2006 and served as Martin O’Malley’s campaign manager in 2016, according to a person familiar with the calls.

Still, Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign manager, Robby Mook, warned that a super PAC can be a liability. “Every Democrat should approach the idea of a super PAC in the primary with caution,” he told the Times. “They are a liability as much as a strength.”

“If you’re depending on a super PAC to succeed in the primary, you’re probably losing,” Mook added.

Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) shunned outside money in his unsuccessful Senate campaign in 2018, and was rewarded by raising more money than any other candidate that cycle. Sanders did the same in his 2016 campaign against Clinton and raised $230 million.

Self-funders like billionaires Tom Steyer and Michael Bloomberg, both of whom are seriously considering presidential bids, won’t be incumbered by these rules. By spending their own money for their campaign, there’s no need for a coordinating super PAC.

Regardless of what they decide, each of these Democrats will have his or her fundraising apparatus up and running long before their official campaign kickoffs next year.

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