Monday, July 22, 2013

An Invisible Primary First?

As some of you may have read in the past week, an explicitly anti-Hillary Clinton super PAC called Stop Hillary has been created.  The founders are a classic mix of intense policy demanders comprised of state politicians (mostly from Colorado), former congressional and presidential campaign staffers, and a lobbyist or two.  Included in this cadre is Matt Rhodes who recently helped found the Republican opposition research super PAC America Rising.  How much money Stop Hillary can raise and what resources they can deploy are anyone's guess, but we shouldn't be surprised that something like this has come along.

So here's an honest question (and if you know the answer please let us know): Is this the first time a PAC has formed explicitly to oppose a non-declared candidate in the invisible primary?

We've obviously seen PACs and super PACs affiliated with candidates beat up on each other, as they did in the 2012 invisible primary.  America Rising itself was a delayed response to the Democratic opposition research super PAC American Bridge, but these are groups with broader goals.   Even Citizens United was established decades before it aired its hugely consequential film on Sen. Clinton in the 2008 primary, though most people never heard of it until 2009.  But Stop Hillary seems unique in its singular purpose.  The names speaks volumes, and probably says it all.

While American Bridge was content to confine its work out of the public eye - digging up dirt and embarrassing bits about various Republicans then feeding it to the press - Stop Hillary seems to be fully intent on grabbing as much publicity as they can.  Their first major play will be a video which is set to be released later this week.  I guess their first test is see if anyone notices...

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