Or the super PAC that shows Democrats really REALLY want to keep control of the Senate.
Back in 2010, the Supreme Court ruled SpeechNow.org v. Federal Election Commission that PACs (or political action committees) that didn’t make direct contributions to candidates, parties, or other PACs could accept unlimited resources (ie money). Thus the super PAC was born and changed the face of the political landscape forever.
So what are these mythical independent-expenditure only committees? In this series we introduce to you a couple of them that we think you should know about. In this installment we talk about every Senate Democrat’s favorite super PAC, the Senate Majority PAC.
So what super PAC are we talking about in this installment?
Senate Majority PAC
Senate Majority PAC? Is that some kind of super PAC for the senate majority or something?
What? No. Well, yes, but not in the way you’re thinking of. The Senate Majority PAC is a super PAC created by top Democrat strategists in hopes of effecting the 2014 Midterms so Democrats keep their majority within the US Senate.
Cool. So who are these “Democrat strategists” you speak of?
If this Politico article is to be believed, advisors for Senate Majority PAC include Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Reid’s longtime political strategist Rebecca Lambe, Reid’s former Chief-of-Staff Susan McCue, Craig Varoga (who also runs the super PAC Patriot Majority USA), and longtime Democrat fundraiser Monica Dixon to name a few.
Man, when it comes to the Senate Majority PAC, there are a lot of people tied to Harry Reid.
Well that’s to be expected, right? If the Democrats lose their majority in the Senate, Harry Reid loses his Senate Majority Leader title. Much like a mobster’s wife not having access to gaudy jewelry and fur coats after her husband decides to leave “the life”, how could Reid go back to being just a Minority Whip in the Senate? So I guess what I’m saying is, the Senate Majority Leader title are Reid’s gaudy diamond earrings. Yeah.
Ok… so why was Senate Majority PAC created again?
According to the mission statement on their site, they were created to battle against “Karl Rove and a network of Republican-aligned outside groups” that “raise and spend hundreds of millions of dollars on false negative ads against Democratic Senators and Senate candidates.”
Hold up, hold up. They actually think they can go toe-to-toe with major conservative super PACs like American Crossroads?
Well, not only are they going toe-to-toe with these conservative super PACS, they are in fact killing them when it comes to the most important barometer of success for these groups, money. According to OpenSecrets, in 2014 the Senate Majority PAC raised just under $34 million. Compared to the conservative super PAC American Crossroads, who have raised about $12 million this year, Senate Majority PAC is right now a fundraising juggernaut for the Democrats.
Wow $34 million sounds like a lot of money! Is that a lot of money in super PAC standards?
Let’s just put it this way, the Senate Majority PAC has the highest total raised in 2014 and is $6 million ahead of the second highest super PAC, NextGen Climate Action with over $27 million. So Senate Majority PAC has raised a lot of Benjamins, even for super PAC standards.
Who’s donating to the Senate Majority PAC?
Not surprising there are some heavy hitters on the donors list. Out of the litany of donors, the biggest donation comes from Tom Steyer, a hedge fund manager and outspoken environmentalist, with $5 million. Next on the list is Fred Eychaner, chairman of Newsweb Corp and longtime political activist, with $4 million. The most interesting name on the list is former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg donating $2.5 million. Even though Bloomberg was a Republican as former Mayor of New York City, he’s had a history of supporting political groups that align to his various political agendas like gun control. The rest of the donor list round out to various unions, hedge fund groups, and political activists.
So who’s getting all this cash?
As you might have expected, most of the money goes to Democrats who are in close senate races in the 2014 Midterms. Though a ridiculous amount of money – over $3.5 million!!! – has gone to the Put Alaska First PAC. It’s a PAC that supports Democrat Sen. Mark Begich of Alaska. He’s right now in a tough senate race with Republican candidate Dan Sullivan. Some of Begich’s ads have been questionable at times to say the least. Yet with so much money going to Put Alaska First, sizable donations from people like Steyer, who has been on record to opposing the Keystone XL Pipeline out of Alaska, suddenly make a whole lot more sense.
Ok, there are just WAY TOO MANY facts in this piece! Explain the Senate Majority PAC in terms of something that the Million Dollar Man Ted Dibiase would do!
My pleasure! Think of the Senate Majority PAC similar to the time when the Million Dollar Man introduced the Million Dollar Championship to the WWF.
Unable to win the WWF championship at the time, Ted Dibiase said “fuck it” and purchased/created his own championship, The Million Dollar Belt. Money gave Dibiase options. Much like how money gives Senate Majority PAC options. Need to flush a district with political ads? The Senate Majority PAC can do that! Need to hire expensive political consultants to figure out what issues a state is gravitating towards? The Senate Majority PAC can do that too! A state based PAC needs an obscene amount of money like $3.5 million? Anyway, you get the point.
Money in politics gives you options. So with the Senate Majority PAC flushed with capitol, right now they are saying “fuck it” and deciding to create their own Million Dollar Championship. Which isn’t really a liberal or conservative thing, but a super PAC thing. It’s what they do.
(Photo Credit: AP, Google Images)