Type of organization: Super PAC
Supports: Democratic Senate members and candidates
Founded: June 11, 2010
- Susan McCue (founder): Former chief of staff to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., who founded Message Global LLC, a public affairs firm with a focus on global outreach and humanitarian issues.
- Monica Dixon (executive director): former consultant to the campaign of Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., and former deputy chief of staff to Vice President Al Gore.
- Harold Ickes (adviser): registered lobbyist with strong union ties who was formerly the deputy chief of staff to President Bill Clinton, served in senior positions in the presidential campaigns of both Bill and Hillary Clinton and is currently the president of pro-Obama super PAC Priorities USA Action.
- Jim Jordan (strategist): Democratic strategist who managed Democrat John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign and previously served as the executive director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.
Senate Majority PAC’s stated mission is to maintain the Democratic majority of the U.S. Senate. It is especially outspoken against Karl Rove and the conservative super PAC, American Crossroads, which Rove helped create, as well as the tea party. Like American Crossroads, Senate Majority PAC — known until early 2013 as Majority PAC — is run by a number of long-time party operatives.
Created in response to American Crossroads and other GOP outside groups, Majority PAC is partly a melding of two earlier Democratic groups that were active in the 2010 elections. One is Commonsense Ten, which, in 2010, spent more than $3 million to aid Democratic Senate candidates. The second is Patriot Majority, which spent nearly $3 million to help re-elect Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.
Senate Majority PAC focused its efforts on Senate races in several key states, including Arizona, Connecticut, Indiana, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin. In each of those states, Senate Majority PAC spent at least $2 million on independent expenditures.
In Virginia’s high-stakes contest between Democrat Tim Kaine and Republican George Allen, Senate Majority PAC invested more than $6 million, more than it spent in any other race. Kaine ultimately prevailed with about 53 percent of the vote.
Over the entire 2012 election cycle, Senate Majority PAC saw its preferred candidates win in 14 of 17 races, the Center for Public Integrity calcuated.
Labor unions provided a substantial portion of Majority PAC’s funds.
The United Brotherhood of Carpenters; American Federation of Teachers; American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and Laborers International Union of North America all made seven-figure contributions to the Democratic super PAC. Overall, unions accounted for about one-third of the money Senate Majority PAC raised, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
Casino giant Caesars Entertainment Corporation was one of the few Fortune 500 companies to donate to super PACs during the 2012 election cycle. The company gave $150,000 to Majority PAC in March of 2012 through its subsidiary Caesars Entertainment Operating Company, Inc.
Senate Majority PAC worked closely with House Majority PAC and American Bridge 21st Century, the other two major Democratic-aligned super PACs, as well as Priorities USA Action, the main super PAC working to re-elect President Barack Obama.
- “Short Leash,” as the Center for Public Integrity previously reported, opposed Rep. Rick Berg, the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in North Dakota.
- “Cards” opposed former wrestling executive Linda McMahon, the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Connecticut. The ad was jointly paid for with Connecticut’s Future PAC.
- The super PAC spent millions to aid embattled Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., including this radio ad campaign about Medicare.
- About $406,300 was spent on several ads in support of Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., who ultimately decided not to run for re-election.
- Another $32,400 went to ads in support of Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., before he opted against seeking another term in January.
- For more ads, see Majority PAC’s YouTube channel.
Last Updated: July 25, 2013