By Julie Bolcer
Originally published on Advocate.com August 14 2012 8:39 AM ET
LPAC, the super PAC launched to amplify lesbian voices in politics, announced that Tammy Baldwin, who is running for U.S. Senate in Wisconsin, would be the first candidate to receive its support.
The group broke the not-so-surprising news to supporters Tuesday morning in an e-mail that called Baldwin’s campaign “important and historic.” The seven-term Democratic congresswoman could become the first openly gay person elected to the Senate, and voters today will select her Republican opponent from a field of four men, a contrast that LPAC emphasized in its fund-raising pitch.
“Today Tammy’s opponents, four anti-gay, anti-choice men, are duking it out in the Republican primary to see who can be the most extreme,” wrote chair and treasurer Sarah Schmidt. “Tomorrow morning, Tammy will have a challenger, who will be able to spend 100% of his energy attacking her. Secret groups funded by the Koch brothers, the US Chamber of Commerce, and Karl Rove have already spent millions of dollars attacking Tammy. Because she stands up for women. Because she believes in economic justice. Because she’s a lesbian.”
The e-mail asked supporters to contribute, and said the LPAC board would match up to $50,000 in contributions, with the goal of raising $100,000 for Baldwin. Recent polling has indicated that her race is a toss-up.
Schmidt said the board considered Baldwin’s race to be one of “vital importance” in an interview with The Advocate last month, and she said the four state ballot measures on marriage equality were also under consideration. The hybrid PAC, which can contribute directly to candidates and independently of them, provided it keeps separate accounts, has a goal of raising $1,000,000 this election cycle and becoming a lasting force for lesbians in politics. More endorsements are expected in the coming weeks.
LPAC was launched last month with an advisory board of eight women including Chicago Cubs co-owner Laura Ricketts, longtime LGBT leader Urvashi Vaid, and Emily Giske, a New York lobbyist and friend of City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, a leading 2013 mayoral prospect. The group, which has also drawn support from prominent women including Jane Lynch and Billie Jean King, is believed to be first PAC focused directly on issues that affect lesbians and their families.