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New Super PAC has spent more than $1 million backing Klobuchar

The spending has focused on Nevada, which holds its caucus on Saturday, and South Carolina, with a primary the following week.

A still from Kitchen Table Conversations' "Sacred" video.
A still from Kitchen Table Conversations' "Sacred" video. The video has had approximately 2,500 views since being posted on Feb. 14.
Kitchen Table Conversations

A new Super PAC supporting Sen. Amy Klobuchar has spent more than $1.2 million on television and digital advertisements in the last week.

The Super PAC, Kitchen Table Conversations, filed their intent to spend money on Klobuchar last Friday. Since then, according to Federal Election Commission (FEC) records, the committee has spent significant sums of money in Nevada and South Carolina: More than $930,000 in South Carolina and $345,000 in Nevada. The Nevada Caucus is this Saturday and South Carolina’s primary is next Saturday.

The group has created at least four advertisements in support of Klobuchar: three English language ads and one in Spanish. One speaks to Klobuchar’s first experiences dealing with legislative change: pushing for mothers in Minnesota to be entitled to longer hospital stays, instead of being forced out of the hospital 24 hours after birth.

“She built a bipartisan Minnesota coalition. And helped stop it there,” the ad says. “That’s what Amy Klobuchar does: sees a problem, fixes it, and wins when it matters.”

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The Super PAC was created by Richard Carlbom and Kristen McMullen, two prominent DFL activists that work at political consulting firm UnitedStrategies, to push Klobuchar’s campaign forward through Nevada, South Carolina, and Super Tuesday.

Klobuchar has struggled to gain traction beyond Iowa and New Hampshire, where she received fifth and third place respectively. Polls show Klobuchar nowhere near the lead in Nevada or South Carolina.

Nevada Caucus polls aggregated by Real Clear Politics place Klobuchar in sixth place, with around 10 percent of voters, behind Sen. Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and Tom Steyer.

Much of the same is true for the South Carolina Primary, where Klobuchar also averages a sixth place spot in the polls, or 7.3 percent, behind Biden, Sanders, Steyer, Buttigieg, and Warren. Her support with black voters, who make up a majority of likely Democratic voters in the state, is nonexistent.

Kitchen Table Conversations is spending heavily on television advertisements, with more than $1.2 million earmarked specifically for that, and only a bit more than $65,000 to buy digital advertisements.

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It’s unclear who is funding the effort. The Super PAC does not have to disclose its donors until April, the next required FEC filing period.

Only one group has come forward as a funder: Emily’s List, the largest political action committee supporting pro-choice Democratic female candidates for office. The group’s Vice President told the New York Times that they’ve given $250,000 to both Kitchen Table Conversations and another Super PAC, Persist PAC, recently created to support Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s campaign.

“Everyone on this stage except Amy and me is either a billionaire or is receiving help from PACs that can do unlimited spending,” Warren said barely two weeks ago at the Democratic debate in New Hampshire.

Now, no one can make that claim.

On Thursday, Warren told reporters the rules of engagement have changed.

“So here’s where I stand: If all the candidates want to get rid of super PACs, count me in — I’ll lead the charge,” she said. “But that’s how it has to be. It can’t be the case that a bunch of people keep them and only one or two don’t.”