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Super PAC organized to boost Klobuchar’s presidential bid

Sen. Amy Klobuchar
REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
Sen. Amy Klobuchar speaking during the "Moving America Forward: A Presidential Candidate Forum on Infrastructure, Jobs and Building a Better America" event in Las Vegas on Sunday.

At the last Democratic debate, Sen. Elizabeth Warren wanted to make a point: “Everyone on this stage except Amy and me is either a billionaire or is receiving help from PACs that can do unlimited spending.”

While that claim has been challenged, part of it was indisputable: Sen. Amy Klobuchar did not have a Super PAC backing her.

Until late last week.

A week out from the Nevada Caucus, a group called Kitchen Table Conversations filed with the Federal Election Commission on Friday, with the stated goal of assisting Klobuchar in maintaining momentum after a third place finish in New Hampshire. The group intends to operate as a Super PAC, meaning they can spend unlimited amounts of money as long as they do not coordinate directly with the campaign.

Kitchen Table Conversations has already committed $1.2 million to pro-Klobuchar television ads in Nevada and South Carolina, according to Federal Election Commission filings.

“As mid-westerners, we know Amy. With your help, so will America,” the group’s website reads.

“Amy knows families come together around the kitchen table. There, we tackle problems and make some of the most important of life’s decisions.”

Klobuchar has in part run her campaign on rejecting money from corporate PAC’s. “The senator is not accepting contributions from corporate PACs during her campaign for president,” campaign spokeswoman Carlie Waibel told CNBC last year. 

But this PAC is not explicitly aligned with a corporation. Instead, it seems to be created by prominent operatives within the Minnesota Democratic Farmer Labor party.

Kitchen Table Conversations’ statement of organization lists two people: Richard Carlbom and Kristen McMullen, two prominent DFL activists that work at UnitedStrategies. Both were heavily involved Minnesotans United for All Families, a 2012 campaign to stop a constituional ban on same-sex marriage in Minnesota.

Representatives for the group did not respond to request for comment by publication time.

At one point, most of the candidates still on the debate stage actively rejected any outside support from Super PACs. But Joe Biden, who initially rejected all Super PAC money, dropped his opposition to Super PAC assistance in October. Since then, Unite the Country, a pro-Biden Super PAC, has spent at least $6 million in favor of the candidate. Former Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s campaign has signaled to Super PACs that they should be spending money in particular ways. While he actively rejects Super PAC support, Sen. Bernie Sanders is supported by a Super PAC set up by National Nurses United that is funded by member dues.

“I do not have a super PAC,” Sanders said when he first ran for president in 2016. “And I do not want a super PAC.”

Comments (10)

  1. Submitted by Joe Smith on 02/17/2020 - 11:33 am.

    The ABB (anybody but Bernie) crowd is looking to give money to anyone who they feel may be able to win a State outside New York and California. Klobuchar is next up after Biden finishes his drop to the bottom.

  2. Submitted by Constance Sullivan on 02/17/2020 - 11:51 am.

    What a shame that this Super PAC for Klobuchar’s support doesn’t have any way for people to contribute by check to a real-life address. By snail mail.


  3. Submitted by David Markle on 02/17/2020 - 01:06 pm.

    At this point, I believe that for a woman to become elected president, she must be generally likeable (many voters simply disliked Hillary) and able to project strength and auithority, like Margaret Thatcher and Angela Merkel. Madeleine Albright possesses likeability and an image of authority, but she’s foreign born and thus ineligible.

    Klobuchar has some of both those assets, but does she have enough? We shall see.

    • Submitted by Pat Berg since 2011 on 02/17/2020 - 02:43 pm.

      Amy falls behind Buttigieg when it comes to the qualities of charisma and energy. Those shouldn’t be requirements when it comes to choosing a leader, but unfortunately, people are naturally drawn to those who have both those attributes. When it comes to Amy vs. Buttigieg, I’m sure gender plays into it. But I think it tends to be much more about the lack of charisma and the general sense of low energy in how she presents herself. Which is a shame.

  4. Submitted by Tom Wilson on 02/17/2020 - 04:45 pm.

    We as Americans ,are so tired of a hyper active president, that Amy would fill the bill.We are tired of crises everyday, and all the bluster! Let’s return to calm and thoughtful process, to get government working again.

  5. Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 02/17/2020 - 06:02 pm.

    Gabe, not to get crosswise, we know Amy personally and have for ~ 20 years, The message here is, it is going to take a lot of $ to win this election, makes no sense in saying Bloomberg is trying to buy the election, all the candidates realize that $ talk, For all the right wing-BS comments “anybody but Bernie”, there is only 1 objective, beat fascist dictator Trump. Suspect any lefty, independent or left leaning right winger would agree, end of the day who is the street fighter that we think can take lying, corrupt, dishonest, arrogant, …. Trump out!

    • Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 02/17/2020 - 06:39 pm.

      PS: There is an ancient proverb: “The enemy of my enemy is my friend” its disappointing how many of the presidential hopefuls do not understand that proverb! They look more like: The enemy of my enemy is my enemy, They have lost their way and site of the goal.

  6. Submitted by Gordon Kepner on 02/18/2020 - 04:18 pm.

    Amy Not running for President?
    Yes— indeed — this has been blatantly obvious from the get-go. Her target is the V-Pres. slot on the Democratic ticket in Nov, assuming a man is is the Dem. nominee. She pairs well with Bernie, Joe, Mike — less well with Pete (two relatively low national profile Midwesterners). Her strategy is to stay visible maybe into Super Tues. After that the money flow dries up and she can’t mount a national level campaign. She does go to the convention with a handful of delegates and this will warrant additional national TV exposure. What other woman politician could compete with her for V-P? Maybe Gov. Granholm of Michigan could — one of the three crucial states the Dems have to win to beat Trump. Get real folks — she likely won’t even win the Minn Primary. Minn Nice pairs well with Minn Gullible. Amy’s private agenda is not her public agenda. Get used to this. Its what professional politicians do. People deserve the politicians they elect.
    Disheartened citizen

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