Shelden Adelson-Backed Republican Super PAC To Spend $71 Million On Republican House Races Before Midterms
Republicans are gearing up to defend the House this fall, spending tens of millions of dollars to protect battleground districts deemed at risk. These seats will most likely determine the future of control in the chamber. The Congressional Leadership Fund (CLF), a super PAC aligned with House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), has already raised $71 million to pump into local elections, a steep increase from the $2 million the PAC had raised this time last election cycle.
Though lawmakers including Ryan aren’t allowed to work in coordination with super PAC’s, their allies outside the government can.
Leading the CLF effort is Cory Bliss, whose official title is executive director and in the past has worked as a campaign manager for various Republican candidates. He garnered national acclaim for his aggressive ground tactics running Sen. Rob Portman’s (R-Ohio) campaign for reelection.
The CLF is marketing itself as being dedicated to saving Republican House majority. Its strategy for the upcoming midterms focuses on long-term voter engagement. “If I knock on your door one or two times, it’s not going to do anything… It’s that repetition that is required to really have an impact,” Bliss told Politico.
The candidates that qualify for CLF’s assistance come from highly competitive districts where CLF’s efforts would be most efficient. Bliss predicts that CLF should give Republicans, at the very least, a three-point boost in each race it lends its vast resources to. “In a close race, that’s the difference between winning and losing,” he said.
CLF has been setting up field offices, at the cost of about $250,000 per office, within a 25-minute distance from high schools where it actively recruits student volunteers at career fairs and civics classes.
Each office is also specifically catered to a candidate with sometimes multiple offices dedicated to one. Each office handles its own in-house research and has its own data teams. Since February 2017, roughly 4,000 volunteers have knocked on more than 10 million doors.