The SuperPAC, a form of political committee that has served the political interests of the wealthy, is being turned on its head by the CREDO SuperPAC's Take Down the Tea Party Ten campaign. The operation is targeting Rep. Chip Cravaack (R-Minn.) and other Tea Party Republicans, with the goal of retiring some of Congress' worst members.
CREDO Mobile is a progressive San Francisco, Calif.-based phone service company, which has raised over $65 million for nonprofit organizations including GreenPeace, Planned Parenthood, and Democracy Now, and which lets its customers vote on these types of groups.
The company announced Jan. 30 the first six candidates their campaign will target. One of them is Cravaack, who represents Minnesota's 8th district - one of ten districts in which Tea Party Republicans are considered most vulnerable in the 2012 elections. The SuperPAC will gather progressive activists to organize in these districts, and online as well.
The plan is to open a field office in each of these districts and join forces with local constituents and organizers to mobilize voters and highlight the worst stances and viewpoints of the Tea Party incumbents, who CREDO refers to as "unfit to serve."
"We're talking about some of the most odious members of Congress," said Campaign Manager Matthew "Mudcat" Arnold. "Even for Republicans, these guys are low. We're going to empower local activists to organize their friends and neighbors to lay out the truth about their representatives in the most basic terms: They are anti-woman. They are anti-science. They are hypocritical, bigoted, and have said and done things that are downright crazy.
"They've done more to embarrass their constituents than they have to govern or work toward solutions. They are unfit for Congress, and we're going to help their constituents hold them accountable."
One such hypocrite may be Cravaack, who claims to support "life, marriage, and family" as "gifts from our loving God," and yet tried to stop Planned Parenthood from funding womens' health services. Cravaack has claimed that his values and those of the Tea Party are one and the same, though he did not join the Tea Party Caucus. And after being elected, rather than have his family live in the state he was representing, Cravaack moved them to New Hampshire.
Other campaign targets are Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wis.), Rep. Steve King (R-Ind.), Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.), Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill), and Rep. Frank Guinta (R-N.H.). Another slate of candidates, moreover, will be selected with input from members and subscribers of CREDO.
CREDO's SuperPAC is unlike any used to support rich Republican candidates; it will "put power back in the hands of the people," according to its president, Becky Bond, "instead of consolidating it in the hands of corporate executives and the ultra-wealthy."
This progressive SuperPAC is being backed by money the company aims to raise with volunteer-driven rallies, petition drives, and door knocking, Bond noted. The SuperPAC will be able to receive unlimited donations.
"Where Karl Rove and the Koch brothers can use shady money from a few hidden donors to fund a barrage of TV attack ads," she said, "this SuperPAC will empower local voters and our list of 2.5 million activists to build a grassroots campaign that is as hard-hitting as it is progressive.
"Using innovative tactics, technology, and good old-fashioned grassroots organizing, we're going to kick Tea Party Republican Chip Cravaack out of office."
Photo: Chip Cravaack, R-Minn. is one of the targets of CREDO SuperPAC's Take Down the Tea Party Ten campaign. Steve Kuchera/AP Photos/The Duluth News-Tribune