Senate Conservatives Fund
The Senate Conservatives Fund is a United States political action committee (PAC) that supports conservative Republican Party candidates, primarily in the United States Senate, in primary and general elections. The PAC was founded by then-U.S. Senator from South Carolina Jim DeMint in 2008. It has supported repealing the Affordable Care Act. Republican leaders have criticized the fund for targeting Senate Republicans.
South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint founded the Senate Conservatives Fund during the summer of 2008. The fund first supported Pat Toomey in his challenge against Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter, and Marco Rubio in his challenge to Charlie Crist in Florida.
In 2010, the Senate Conservatives Fund raised $9.3 million, supporting successful Senate candidates Mike Lee of Utah, Rand Paul of Kentucky, and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin. The PAC also supported a number of unsuccessful candidates, including Sharron Angle in Nevada, Ken Buck in Colorado, Joe Miller in Alaska, John Raese in West Virginia, Dino Rossi in Washington, and Christine O'Donnell in Delaware.
The PAC raised and spent $16 million during the 2012 election cycle. After DeMint left office to head up the conservative Heritage Foundation, former DeMint chief of staff and political operative Matt Hoskins became executive director.
The fund has aligned itself with U.S. Senator Ted Cruz and has levied attacks on Senators Mitch McConnell and Lamar Alexander. In 2013, the fund orchestrated a robocall and direct mail campaign to generate signatures for an anti-Affordable Care Act petition. The PAC also endorsed a strategy to defund Obamacare that culminated in the 2013 shutdown of the federal government.
House Conservative Project
In 2013, the Fund expanded its focus to target House Republicans. Executive Director Hoskins described the impetus for the project as being partially to "build a farm team for the Senate." The Project has endorsed Oklahoma Representative Jim Bridenstine.
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- Joseph, Cameron (October 1, 2013). "Senate Conservatives Fund launches ads against Democrats on shutdown". The Hill.
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- Lerer, Lisa (September 16, 2010). "Jim DeMint's Path to Power". Businessweek.
- Overby, Peter (November 12, 2010). "DeMint Increases Clout By Banking On Conservatives". NPR.
- Gonzales, Nathan L. (December 21, 2012). "Group DeMint Founded Has No Plans to Replace the Departing Senator". The Rothenberg Political Report.
- Strauss, Daniel (September 17, 2013). "Powerful Senate Conservatives Fund Expands To Focus On House Races". Talking Points Memo.