A new Republican super-PAC will pay to deploy party activists and volunteers from states that aren’t politically competitive in the Nov. 6 election to states that are.
Republican Union PAC, which filed organizing paperwork with the Federal Election Commission this week, will pay hotel and travel expenses to move people who want to contact voters in states with close presidential and congressional races, spokesman Bo Harmon said in an interview.
The PAC’s name underscores the importance of Republican unity as much as it acknowledges that Democratic-friendly labor unions have long funded on-the-ground political organizing in a way the Republican side hasn’t. It’s a void that Republican Union PAC aims to fill, Harmon said.
“For years and years, Democrat unions have held an advantage over Republicans in terms of grassroots volunteer deployment because of their ability to cover the cost of activists going into the field in target states,” Harmon said. “Republicans have millions and millions of conservative activists around the country and the Republican Union PAC was created to help move activists into target states and cover the cost of their deployment.”
The super-PAC is working with state parties and conservative organizations to identify and reach out to volunteers willing to relocate to swing states during the homestretch of the campaign. The PAC would like to begin deploying activists by early September, about two months before Election Day, Harmon said.
Harmon said that the PAC has raised more than $1 million. He declined to reveal any of its donors, who will be disclosed on FEC reports later this year.
Republican Union PAC has spent $950,000 on billboards, it said in an FEC filing yesterday. The billboards are going up in five key states — Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia — and will encourage political independents and conservative Democrats to consider voting Republican, Harmon said.
Obama won all five states in the 2008 election, and together they have 96 electoral votes. All five states are hosting Senate races in which Democrats are the defending party, and all have at least one House race that’s competitive.
The super-PAC has an initial planning budget of $15 million, though that could expand if it attracts the attention and interest of major donors such as Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire casino executive who’s given tens of millions of dollars to Republican candidates and causes this election cycle. Because it’s a super-PAC, Republican Union PAC can accept donations in unlimited amounts from any source.