Senate Conservatives Fund raises pressure, dollars over Obamacare battle
The Senate Conservatives Fund, a political action committee founded by former North Carolina senator and current Heritage Foundation president Jim DeMint, has released a slew of radio spots, Internet ads and a website–Don't Fund Obamacare–that accuse some Rebublican senators of supporting the Affordable Care Act rather than trying to stop it.
Sens. Richard Burr, R-N.C., Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Thad Cochran, R-Miss., Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., all oppose the tactic of blocking implementation of healthcare reforms by launching a budget fight that could result in a shut down of the federal government. The strategy, advocated by Tea Party favorites Sens. Mike Lee, R-Utah and Ted Cruz, R-Texas, calls for the House to pass a budget that contains no funding to implement health care reform, but does fund the rest of the government's operations.
If the Senate refuses to pass the measure, or if it did pass it and the President vetoes it, the government would shut down, as it did during a budget standoff in 1995 between President Bill Clinton and Republican-led Congress.
The radio ads, which argue that the Affordable Care Act is a "job killer" that will increase insurance premiums while forcing many patients to give up their doctor of choice, urge listeners to visit the Don't Fund Obamacare website to sign an online petition. Those who do sign the petition are directed to a web page soliciting donations to the PAC, starting at $25.
The ads were picked up by Sunlight's Ad Hawk.
Similarly, two web ads on the Don't Fund Obamacare site featuring the leading sponsors of the defunding option, Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah and Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, are directed to call toll free numbers that make fundraising pitches for the PAC.
According to press releases on the Senate Conservatives Fund's website, airing radio ads against the five senators in their states over the next two weeks will cost a little less than $200,000.
The Senate Conservatives Fund has no ties to its founder, DeMint, but a longtime aide of his, Matt Hoskins, is the group's executive director.
It's not the only organization raising money while pushing Republicans to risk a government shutdown to defund Obamacare. Restore America's Voice Foundation, a 501(c)4 organization, has posted an ad that directs viewers to call a toll free number to register their opposition to providing taxpayer dollars to implement the health care law. Callers who stay on the line get a fundraising pitch. Sunlight previously profiled the group, which also runs a super PAC, here.