Last month, President Obama made the controversial decision to embrace the super PAC dedicated to getting him reelected. But that doesn’t mean that his super PAC, Priorities USA Action, is anywhere close to as successfully fundraising as those linked to his Republican opponents. The New York Times reports that Obama allies are under increasing pressure to raise more money for the super PAC and other similar groups:
The warning came from David Plouffe, President Obama’s top political adviser: The Koch brothers and Republican “super PACs” have pledged hundreds of millions of dollars to defeat Mr. Obama, he told a dozen wealthy Democrats gathered in a Silicon Valley office suite. Do not believe what you read about all the money the president will raise himself, Mr. Plouffe urged them. He needs your help.
Despite a recent $1 million donation to Priorities USA Action from comedian Bill Maher, the non-campaign organization is lagging behind Republican super PACs, including American Crossroads, which raised $51 million in 2011, and expects to raise a total of $240 million. Meanwhile, the billionaire Koch brothers have said they’ll raise an additional $200 million for other groups opposing Obama. Vice President Joe Biden, at a fundraiser on Monday, told donors that he expects Republican super PACs to spend as much as $800 million during the 2012 election. Last month, Priorities USA Action only raised $2 million – half of it from Maher.
Many potential donors are leery of the kind of negative campaigning most super PACs engage in. Wall Street backers, for example, “are leery of their money being used for attacks on Mr. Romney’s background in private equity.” Meanwhile, others just don’t really like the idea of super PACs. Much like the president, they are hesitant to embrace the much-vilified organizations:
“I’m undecided,” said Mark Buell, a philanthropist and a major Democratic donor. “It’s really about whether we can afford to take the high road on this. And that is going to be decided by some of the poll data going forward.”
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