Super PAC launches to support Elizabeth Warren, who has decried the role of super PACs

Super PAC launches to support Elizabeth Warren, who has decried the role of super PACs

A new super PAC has formed to raise and spend unlimited amounts of money to boost the presidential bid of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), whose banner campaign issue centers on rejecting the power of moneyed interests in politics.

The group, Persist PAC, filed its papers on Tuesday. It has already launched a 30-second ad in Nevada highlighting the senator’s record establishing a federal financial watchdog agency and supporting policies that help women and middle-class families.

Warren has branded herself as the only candidate immune to the influence of unlimited spending by wealthy donors. She has emphatically rejected super PACs and attacked her opponents receiving their help. In a statement, Warren’s campaign said the senator’s position has not changed.

“Since day one of this campaign, she has made clear that she thinks all of the candidates should lock arms together and say we don’t want super pacs and billionaires to be deciding our Democratic nominee,” the campaign said.

The statement did not address Warren’s feelings about Persist PAC, however, and the campaign did not respond to questions about whether the senator thinks the group should continue to exist to support her candidacy.

Another super PAC has launched to help the candidacy of Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), who has gained momentum in recent weeks. Kitchen Table Conversations PAC formed Friday and released its first ad focusing on Nevada, South Carolina and states holding primary contests on Super Tuesday, March 3.

These super PACs operate independently of the candidates, and the candidates are not allowed to have a say in the groups’ activities. Super PACs are required to disclose their donors and spending.

Klobuchar has said she does not want help from super PACs, and her campaign on Wednesday said she stands by that statement.

Persist PAC’s television and online ad campaign exceeds $1 million and will focus on boosting Warren’s standing ahead of the Nevada caucuses on Saturday, the group said. The group aims to continue its ad campaign through Super Tuesday. Axios first reported the news of the super PAC.

The super PAC’s help comes as Warren has struggled to keep up her fundraising pace, rescinding ad buys from Nevada and South Carolina to conserve her money.

Persist PAC’s board is led by four Warren allies in liberal politics. The group has decided that a super PAC is the most effective way to support Warren, despite her rejection of such groups, it said. The group declined to disclose its donors ahead of the federal filing deadline on March 20 or release fundraising strategies.

“Senator Warren is the best candidate to take on Donald Trump and win, and we’re going to ensure primary voters and caucus-goers hear her message,” Persist PAC spokesman Joshua Karp said in a statement.

Warren has been supported by other independent groups so far in the campaign, including the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, which is a PAC that operates within certain fundraising and spending restrictions and that has an affiliated nonprofit that can take unlimited amounts of money from donors not disclosed to the public.

In the fall, a nonprofit called Women.Vote ran an ad promoting Warren in Iowa. That group does not disclose its donors either, but filings showed ties to a longtime Warren ally and major Democratic donor Karla Jurvetson.

In recent weeks, Warren has ramped up attacks on her opponents for their reliance on private fundraisers with wealthy donors and the support they are receiving from independent groups that can spend unlimited money.

“Everyone on this stage except Amy [Klobuchar] and me is either a billionaire or is receiving help from PACs that can do unlimited spending,” Warren said during the Feb. 7 Democratic debate in New Hampshire, in reference to super PACs supporting her opponents.

Most Democratic presidential candidates are now receiving the help of super PACs and nonprofits. Among them: Unite the Country super PAC is supporting former vice president Joe Biden; VoteVets is supporting former South Bend, Ind., mayor Pete Buttigieg; and People Power for Bernie, a coalition of nine independent groups, is supporting Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

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