WASHINGTON – Super PACs, the lightly regulated political action committees that can raise and spend unlimited amounts of money, have landed in Minnesota and first-term Republican Rep. Chip Cravaack is the target.
A liberal group called CREDO Mobile says it’s launching a “multi-million dollar” organizing campaign in Minnesota to unseat Cravaack, along with five other House Republicans in other states. The group is affiliated with Working Assets, a for-profit company that offers phone service and credit cards that promises the profits from those businesses are invested in liberal causes.
In a press release, the group called Cravaack one of “the worst members of Congress” and cited Cravaack’s family’s move to New Hampshire last year as evidence that he is not committed to Minnesota. Other targets of the group include Wisconsin Rep. Sean Duffey and Iowa Rep. Steve King.
The group raised more than $567,000 in 2011, according to Federal Election Commission data and spent $331,000.
MPR News has contacted Cravaack’s reelection campaign for a comment.
“It’s no surprise that Nancy Pelosi and San Francisco progressives are attacking Chip for standing up for the interests of Minnesota middle-class families,” said Cravaack political adviser Ben Golnik in an email. “Chip has stayed above the fray and remains focused on creating more jobs for the 8th District. He will continue to work with his colleagues on bipartisan, common-sense solutions to the problems facing our country.”
Cravaack unseated long-time DFL Rep. Jim Oberstar in 2010 in a surprise upset. Democrats see him as one of the most vulnerable House Republicans in next November’s election, and his district was also singled out recently by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee as part of its “Red to Blue” campaign to win more Democratic House seats.
Outside groups began launching ads for and against Cravaack in the 8th District not long after he took office last January.
DFLers Jeff Anderson, Tarryl Clark and Rick Nolan are vying for the DFL nomination to challenge Cravaack.