Credo PAC Targets Two More House Republicans

Posted April 4, 2012 at 6:09pm

Add Reps. Mike Fitzpatrick (Pa.) and Dan Lungren (Calif.) to the list of Republican lawmakers in the sights of Credo Mobile, the progressive San Francisco phone company-turned-political action committee.

The PAC said today that it will set up offices in the lawmakers’ districts as part of efforts to purge the House of tea party-influenced lawmakers.

In its first three months, Credo’s super PAC has raised $700,000 to fuel a grass-roots campaign that’s also targeting Reps. Chip Cravaack (Minn.), Sean Duffy (Wis.), Frank Guinta (N.H.), Steve King (Iowa), Joe Walsh (Ill.) and Allen West (Fla.), said Becky Bond, the PAC’s president.

By the end of the week, the group will have offices in all eight of the lawmakers’ districts staffed by a total of 22 full-time organizers. “Not interns. These are hard-core field people,” Bond said.

Activists have already shown up at a town hall meeting hosted by Duffy, planned a rally at a Cravaack event April 11 and recruited thousands of in-district volunteers.

Credo, a for-profit company launched in 1985 as an alternative long-distance provider, has used progressive activism as a marketing tool, donating 1 percent of each customer’s monthly bill to liberal nonprofits and organizing grass-roots campaigns around issues such as environmental protection and abortion rights.

The company opposes the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling that ushered in unregulated super PACs and is campaigning for a constitutional amendment to reverse the 2010 high court decision. Though it maintains its own super PAC, the group says it focuses on rounding up volunteers to attend rallies, sign petitions and knock on doors, instead of relying on paid media and direct mail. Bond said the group has drawn on individual donations under $20, but like its political opponents, Credo’s super PAC can collect unlimited sums from corporate donors.

The group has pledged to raise $3 million during this campaign cycle and hire 40 activists by November, the culmination of a campaign that began last summer with advertisements targeting then-presidential candidate and tea party favorite Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.).

The group will soon name two more lawmakers to round out what it calls the “Tea Party Ten.”

“We are 100 percent about tea party accountability,” Bond said. “We are not focused on the Democratic campaigns at all.”

A statement from the group pointed to Lungren’s and Fitzpatrick’s votes for Republican Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget proposal and legislation to deprive Planned Parenthood of federal funding.

“We have never seen something this extreme since we started in 1985,” she said. “This is the biggest campaign we’ve ever run.”