By Julie Bolcer
Originally published on Advocate.com August 21 2012 11:45 AM ET
The first super PAC dedicated to increasing lesbian visibility in politics announced that it has nearly reached its goal of raising $100,000 for Tammy Baldwin, the Wisconsin congresswoman who could become the first openly gay person elected to the U.S. Senate and first woman to represent her state in the upper chamber.
LPAC said Tuesday on Facebook that with one day to go before the deadline, it had raised $45,542, more than 90% of the way toward its $50,000 goal, which the PAC plans to match with $50,000 for a total of $100,000. The group made the appeal to supporters last week on behalf of Baldwin, its first endorsed candidate.
Money raised by LPAC is being directed to EMILY’s List’s Women Vote, which last week released its latest advertisement for Baldwin, a seven-term incumbent Democrat, against her newly minted Republican opponent, Tommy Thompson. The $650,000 broadcast and cable TV buy covers Milwaukee, LaCrosse, Wausau, and Green Bay through Sunday.
The ad, “Riding High,” shows Thompson, a former four-term governor and Bush cabinet member, on a motorcycle. It portrays him as an agent of “special interests” in Washington, D.C.
Polling before the primary indicated that Thompson would be the most formidable opponent for Baldwin because of his name recognition and more moderate reputation. He was the only Republican in a field of four to oppose a federal marriage amendment to ban same-sex marriage, although he opposes allowing same-sex couples to marry and supports the Defense of Marriage Act.
LPAC pulled no punches in sending its email appeal for Baldwin last week. The super PAC said, “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.”
Compared to the leading super PACs, LPAC has set a modest goal of raising $1,00,000 for candidates and issue campaigns this election cycle, with more endorsements expected soon. The group’s eight-member advisory board includes Chicago Cubs co-owner Laura Ricketts, longtime LGBT leader Urvashi Vaid, and others. The PAC has also drawn support from prominent lesbians including Jane Lynch and Billie Jean King.