Super PACs are all the rage this election season, and one — with a particular focus and message — was recently formed in San Francisco with high hopes of helping re-elect President Barack Obama.
The new groups are known as super political action committees. They were created in 2010 and can raise unlimited amounts of campaign funding for their political causes.
Nationally, super PACs have recently garnered attention for negative campaign ads in Republican primaries in South Carolina and Illinois.
But in San Francisco, two residents are hoping to use an untapped community to do positive campaigning.
“We’re going to advocate, not bash anyone,” said Marcus Lovingood, founder of the Pride-LGBT super PAC.
Lovingood, a gay man living in San Francisco, said the LGBT community is an untapped resource that could really make a difference in the November race.
“The LGBT community is so incredibly strong,” he said. “If empowered more … I have the confidence the community will be engaged and work together on a larger scale.”
The super PAC also will try to reach members of the LGBT community through online social media to encourage voter registration and grass-roots efforts across the country to help Obama’s re-election effort.
To accomplish that, Lovingood has teamed up with Bay Area native Rose Dawydiak-Rapagnani to launch a social media initiative.
“There are 146 million Facebook users in the U.S., which is about half of the population,” she said. “We have access to all these people through the touch of a button.”
Dawydiak-Rapagnani and Lovingood both agree that Obama is the right candidate to support, as he’s “done more for the LGBT community in the past four years than any president in the past 25.” Both listed the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” as a major breakthrough.
The super PAC launched in February and has already raised $1,500. It also has more than 2,400 fans on Facebook. Organizers hope to raise $1 million by June.
Comparatively, super PACs — which are not endorsed or organized by candidates — are rapidly growing. More than 400 groups had formed as of Tuesday, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Though super PACs can raise unlimited funds, they must report to the Federal Election Commission on a monthly or quarterly basis.