It’s less than a year to go until the 2012 general election, and with Congressional approval ratings at their lowest levels in almost a century, races in both the Senate and the House of Representatives are shaping up to be tumultuous.
On November 29, the Monitor Breakfast will host members of the Congressional Leadership Fund, a Republican political action committee. Washington journalists will interview fund board members Brian Walsh, Tom Reynolds and Fred Malek on how the GOP plans to win a majority in the House in 2012. The program will be featured on demand at FORA.tv.
Political action committees, otherwise known as PACs, are privately formed groups that to help elect candidates or advance issues. Businesses, unions, or other interest groups typically establish PACs to raise money from PAC members. In the past, laws restricted the amount of money a PAC could raise. But in 2010, the US Supreme Court handed down a landmark decision that lifted funding restrictions and allowed the formation of “Super PACs.”
The Congressional Leadership Fund, a Super PAC formed by several prominent GOP political directors and chaired by former Minnesota Senator Norm Coleman, is one of many PACs seeking to take advantage of these new funding rules to raise unlimited capital from corporations and individuals. While many, including protestors of the Occupy Wall Street movement, see these large financial contributions as a corrupting influence, defenders hail the ability to raise capital as freedom of speech and a counterweight to groups like the Democratic House Majority PAC, a political lobby supported by major labor unions across the United States and sponsored by Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)
Brian Walsh, president of the Congressional Leadership Fund, believes that his Super PAC will also help counter efforts by nongovernmental groups, including ACORN-style community organization groups that commonly support liberal candidates and causes and were a driving force behind the President Barack Obama’s successful campaign in 2008. Walsh said, “Congressional Leadership Fund is the tip of the spear to re-elect Republican incumbents and build on the Republican majority won in 2010.”