February 21, 2024

Former CBC Aides Launch Caucus-Aligned Super PAC

Former aides to members of the Congressional Black Caucus on Tuesday launched the first-ever Super PAC affiliated with the caucus’s political action committee, adding a powerful new player to the stable of Democratic groups that plan to make a big splash in the 2024 election.

The Rolling Sea Action Fund, so named for lyrics in the The black national anthem, he plans to spend more than $10 million on television and digital ads, field organizing and other forms of engagement aimed at Black voters in an effort to help Democrats retake the House of Representatives. The group will focus its resources on swing seats where 8% or more of the electorate are Black voters and therefore where turnout plays a key role in determining election results.

“There’s no really centralized organized effort focused on working year-round to empower and mobilize Black voters in America,” said Niccara Campbell-Wallace, CBC’s former political director, who will lead the Super PAC. new. “We need to make sure we’re engaging Black voters, making sure they know their voting rights, and protecting democracy — and most importantly, taking back the House.”

The Rolling Sea Action Fund is also committed to protecting members of the Congressional Black Caucus in safe seats facing primary challenges, according to Campbell-Wallace.

This cycle has added resonance for the caucus, which currently has only Black Democrats as members, and regaining control of the House. Should the Democrats retake the House, Democratic Leader of the House Hakeem Jeffries (DN.Y.), a longtime member of the Congressional Black Caucus, would be the first Black speaker in history.

Provided they do not coordinate directly with candidates and campaigns, super PACs are allowed to raise and spend unlimited amounts in elections. The efforts of the Ocean Roll Action Fund would complement the work of the House Majority CCP, or HMP, which is the main Super PAC of House Democrats. Unlike HMP, however, the Rolling Sea Action Fund would focus exclusively on mobilizing Black voters.

Rather than being driven by specific concerns about a lack of Black voter participation, Campbell-Wallace told HuffPost that the new group wants to expand on existing efforts and create an organization that could serve as a “ permanent oblivion” to Black outreach within the Democratic Party. Party ecosystem.

“Always with this engagement strategy, we’re identifying and advocating and making sure we’re reaching out to the people who, time and time again, turn out for the Democrats and making sure we’re listening to them – going to the public. , being on the ground, really being a listening ear, versus telling people how to live their lives in their own communities,” said Campbell-Wallace.

In the past, leading members of the Congressional Black Caucus have complained about the national Democratic Party taking away Black voters, who are the party’s most reliable voting bloc, forever. Before the 2020 election, for example, some Black legislators cry the dearth of Black staff members in leadership positions at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Their advocacy, in conjunction with Latino legislators, helped to major personnel changes at DCCC and the diversification of vendors that were given Democratic Party contracts.

This cycle, there are some Black activists and voters they expressed their frustration with President Joe Biden’s lack of progress on what they see as top priorities for the Black community. With a narrow majority in the Senate, Biden failed to pass voting rights legislation or a criminal justice reform bill, and his attempt to provide widespread student debt relief was struck down in court.

Campbell-Wallace acknowledged some Black voters’ disappointment with Biden on those points, even as she laid much of the blame at the feet of Republicans for blocking the president’s efforts and passing “crazy” laws that restricted voting at the state level.

“He’s tired. It frustrates you when you keep trying and keep trying,” she said. “I’m tired sometimes. But we just have to push it.”

To sway Black voters — and all voters — Campbell-Wallace argued, Democrats need to do a better job of building on what they achieved under unified party rule in 2021 and 2022. costs for seniors, presiding over an economy with historically low unemployment and standing up to a conservative Supreme Court that is “trying to roll back all the progress we’ve made in this country.”

“We’re really doing things for working class people. We are the party of working people,” said Campbell-Wallace. “And so all we have to do is sell our good news and shout it from the mountaintop.

“Sometimes we can be a little touchy. We need to stop being so mean. Maybe we need to be a little braggadocious.”

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