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

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

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.”

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.

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.”

Comments (17)

  1. Submitted by Tom Anderson on 02/21/2020 - 11:45 pm.

    More news:

    “The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) announced its endorsement of three Democrats running for president. The union is encouraging its members to vote for Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, or Elizabeth Warren.”

    Even with three options, none of them is Senator Amy. The only hope is that Biden survives and chooses the Senator as his running mate. But she did say that she’d serve her full Senate term…

  2. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 02/22/2020 - 11:10 am.

    Candidates like Klobuchar have to rely on big money because they run anti-populist campaigns that don’t inspire a lot of support. Klobuchar wills never be able to rely on the kind of fund raising that Warren and Sander use because she’s apposed to popular policies that energize voters.

    One of the characteristics of “moderate/centrism” is that it not only rejects popular and obvious policies in favor of bipartisan stalemate, but it also caters to it’s elite financial benefactors. Klobuchar can claim she’s in nobody’s pocket but she dedicated to defending private insurance profits and revenue, and she has no choice but accept money from PAC’s that have their own agendas.

    Sanders has literally revolutionized campaign financing to such an extent that it only a billionaire can compete.

  3. Submitted by Andy Briebart on 02/22/2020 - 12:03 pm.

    It would be interesting to know who is funding these PACS.

  4. Submitted by Tom Anderson on 02/23/2020 - 12:56 am.

    Senator Amy probably needs more money since she claims that she doesn’t have the same name recognition as some of the other candidates. If Warren has better name recognition with six less years as a Senator, whose fault is that? And less than two mayors? Ouch!

  5. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 02/23/2020 - 08:07 am.

    I found it encouraging that Klobuchar’s supporters switched to Warren in Nevada. It’s kind of weird to hear Klobuchar claim that “one again” they did better than expected? Did they think they would come in dead last behind Gabbard? Whatever.

  6. Submitted by Tom Crain on 02/23/2020 - 05:38 pm.

    Warren’s claim that Sanders has the support of ‘Super’ Pacs is duplicitous. I get that her campaign is on the ropes so financially she needed to flip flop on her no pacs pledge, but c’mon Liz, don’t take a fellow progressive like Bernie down with you!

    There’s a wide chasm between super PACs backing the three centrist Democratic candidates, each funded with six-figure donations from wealthy finance executives, and the super PACs backing Sanders, which consist of a nurses union’s PAC and a coalition of progressive organizations that represent over two million working-class people of color.

    • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 02/24/2020 - 08:15 am.

      Yes, there’s a difference between a PAC and “super PAC”, and in any case Sanders is clearly not getting most of his money from any PACs. To be fair however, I’m not sure Klobuchar is really getting “super PAC” money, I can’t imagine anyone with real big money dumping on Klobuchar at this point, she’s clearly not in the race to win. When she comes in almost last and tell her supporters that she’s doing better than expected, logically that can only mean she doesn’t expect to win.

    • Submitted by Pat Terry on 02/26/2020 - 10:41 pm.

      The only thing that is duplicitous is Sanders himself.

      He’s got his super pacs and his dark money too. The only difference is that he lies about it and his cult following still believes.

      Bernie Sanders is as dishonest as Donald Trump. And the Democrats are going to nominate him and take a royal beating this fall.

  7. Submitted by Scot Kindschi on 02/23/2020 - 05:46 pm.

    Yup, the good old status quo. Vote for Sanders!

  8. Submitted by Bob Johnson on 02/25/2020 - 01:54 pm.

    Stick a fork in Amy; she’s toast.

  9. Submitted by Karen Sandness on 02/27/2020 - 10:44 am.

    All I see from Klobuchar is her telling voters that everything this country needs is “impractical.” She’s a great candidate for the dwindling number of voters who are contented with the status quo.

    Look, I know that, as “moderate” Democrats say with annoying regularity, no president can “wave a magic wand.”

    However, a president can set goals that may not be attainable immediately but represent something to work toward. Setting goals makes voters feel that someone is listening to their concerns.

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