Elizabeth Warren getting into the PAC business

It's a business. - promoted by Bob_Neer

I just received this email.  Link to the donation page is here.

Christopher –

Americans are fighters. We are tough, resourceful, and creative.

If we have the chance to fight on a level playing field — where everyone pays a fair share and everyone has a real shot — then no one can stop us.

That’s what I’m fighting for each and every day in the United States Senate. But here’s the honest truth: at the end of the day, my one voice — and my one vote — isn’t enough. We need many strong voices fighting together to stand up for what we believe in.

I’ve formed a new organization — PAC for a Level Playing Field — to advance our fight. Together we can do more, and we can support candidates across the country who believe in consistent accountability, investing in opportunity, and fighting for families and small businesses.

Just like our campaign, the PAC for a Level Playing Field won’t be funded by big corporate interests. It will be funded by grassroots donors like you.

Will you join me as a founding member of the PAC for a Level Playing Field?

In 2012, you took on the big banks and the powerful interests — and you taught a scrappy first-time candidate how to get in the ring and win.

Your $5 and $10 donations powered us with more small-dollar funding than any other Senate campaign in the history of the United States. And with your hard work, we knocked on more doors and made our case to more voters one-on-one than any campaign in the history of Massachusetts.

Using our historic fundraising efforts and the single best grassroots army that any Senate campaign has ever seen, the PAC for a Level Playing Field will fight for what we believe in and help candidates who will join us in that fight.

Can I count on you to become a founding member? Join the PAC for a Level Playing Field now.

I know how many of you have put your faith in my ability to fight for you — and I’ll never forget it. Now let’s work together to level the playing field.

Thank you for being a part of this,



7 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. and out-funded the rest of us exponentially. It’s an unfortunate fact of our political lives that we need more organization and more money to do so. If we have to invest our money in a PAC, and I think we do, Elizabeth Warren is the person I trust to do it honestly, transparently, and effectively.

  2. Donating to a PAC

    I don’t normally give to PACs. For Elizabeth Warren, however, I will make an exception. I like the way that she is getting small donations for her PAC. I especially like the name: “Level Playing Field”.

  3. Just to be completely clear here, this did not just happen a few days ago. It happened two months ago, before Warren had even been sworn in. Several members of her Senate class have done the same thing. It was reported at the time, cf. http://go.bloomberg.com/political-capital/2012-12-22/elizabeth-warren-pac-seeks-to-level-the-playing-field/; see also http://www.masslive.com/politics/index.ssf/2012/12/senator-elect_elizabeth_warren_3.html. It did not attract wide attention, though, and Warren herself did not publicize it until now, so far as I can see.

    The FEC filing is here: http://images.nictusa.com/cgi-bin/fecimg/?C00540195. The PAC treasurer is Keith Lowey, a principal in the firm Verdolino & Lowey, P.C., 124 Washington Street, Suite 101, Foxboro, the same address given for PAC for a Level Playing Field. You can see a summary of Lowey’s experience on the firm’s website here: http://www.vlpc.com/personnel.cfm.

    The fundamental question for any potential donor to Warren’s PAC (or any other PAC, Leadership or not)is really quite simple: do you want Warren to decide how to spend your contribution, or do you want to decide yourself? Warren’s recent letter soliciting founding members for her PAC suggest it’s to “support candidates” whom Warren and the donor would find congenial. But PACs like this are also used by legislators to do their part in terms of party financing generally. If you’re comfortable Warren’s donations will advance who or what you want, or if you want to advance her by enabling her to dispense funds freely, then donating is fine. If you want more control, donating may not be fine.

    You should also keep in mind that PACs like this allow politicians to give far more in a given race than ordinary mortals can give. The limit for citizens is $2500 per “election,” i.e. primary, general. The Leadership PAC limit is double that, $5000 per “election.”

    There is, it seems, at least an arguable protocol matter here. Massachusetts Democrats have just disgorged millions of dollars over the last few years in special and regular US Senate elections. No one can argue they have not done their part. Now another such special election looms, to fill Kerry’s seat. It’s not going to be cheap. Was it absolutely essential that Warren launch her PAC right now?

    • Why I would want Elizabeth Warren deciding

      Imagine I donate to a less than always reliable Senator. Say Senator John Tester. (I’ve donated to his campaign in the past.)

      Mr Tester doesn’t know me from Adam. He doesn’t know what I want from him.

      Say I donate to Ms. Warren’s PAC and that PAC then donates to Mr. Tester.

      The communication is much clearer. It says, Mr Tester, this donation is coming to you from someone who wants an even playing field in the banking market. Please know that we’re donating to you because we trust you will take such concerns into account.

      There’s also a role for expertise here. There are lots of Congressional races every year.

      Some need no support; they’ll do just fine.

      For some, support might be nice, but it’ll have little effect in a too conservative district.

      For others, support could help.

      Can I figure out who falls into the third bucket on my lonesome? No, I cannot. I can find out what folks on the Great Orange Website suggest and follow their queue. I can hope Nate Silver or Sam Wong offers me some guidance.

      Or I can trust someone with similar views and values but with more time and expertise to judge for me.

      That seems like a bargain to me.

    • Giving limits are in error

      Maxdaddy, you say that the PAC can give much more than an individual. Then you say that an individual can give $2,500 but a PAC can give $5,000 to a candidate. Actually, an individual can give $5,200 to a candidate ($2,600 for the primary and $2,600 for the general election). A PAC can only give $5,000.

      • maxdaddy

        With every respect, I believe this is incorrect. See 11 CFR 110.2(b)(1) (online edition, revised as of January 1, 2012): “No
        multicandidate political committee shall make contributions to any candidate, his or her authorized political committees or agents with respect to any election for Federal office which, in the aggregate exceed $5,000.” See also 2 USC 441a(a)(2)(A). This needs to be read in conjunction with the appropriate definition, i.e. 11 CFR 100.2, Election. (Id.) Several different kinds of election are contemplated, i.e. general, primary, runoff, special. Look also at the (somewhat) dated FEC guidance at http://www.fec.gov/pdf/nongui.pdf; the summary table (p. 17) gives the then-prevailing federal individual contribution limit and the analogous PAC multicandidate limit; both are “per election.” The table has then a clarifying note: “Each of the following is considered a separate election with a separate limit: primary election, caucus or
        convention with the authority to nominate, general election, runoff election and special election.”

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Tue 25 Apr 8:15 PM