PAC profile: Citizens for a Working America PAC

Quick stats on the super PAC

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Type of organization: Super PAC

Supports: Republican candidates

Founded: Sept. 10, 2010

Website: citizensforaworkingamericapac.com

Social Media: YouTube channel

Principals:

  • Ken Blackwell (co-chair): Former Secretary of State of Ohio who served as the honorary co-chair of Republican President George W. Bush's re-election campaign in 2004.
  • Ed Brookover (co-chair): Long-time GOP operative-turned-political consultant who formerly advised Rep. Michele Bachmann
  • David Langdon (treasurer and custodian of records): Attorney with Langdon Law in Cincinnati who has made a number of contributions to Kentucky Republican Rand Paul, on whose Senate campaign Jeremy Hughes (see below) once worked.
  • Jeremy Hughes (past treasurer): Served as the state director of Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s presidential campaign in Nevada and has previously been active in politics in Ohio, Mississippi and Kentucky.

Profile:

Restore Our Future was the big-name super PAC supporting Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Not so well-known is a second organization that hopped on the Romney bandwagon, Citizens for a Working America PAC. The super PAC was created in Virginia on Sept. 2, 2010, and that fall, it made a large ad buy against then-House Budget Committee Chairman John Spratt, D-S.C., who was unexpectedly defeated in the 2010 midterm elections.

The super PAC met with some controversy when it accepted a single $255,000 donation in 2010 from a Virginia consulting group called “New Models.” Questions were raised as to whether the group was being used as a pass-through for unnamed donors.

In the 2012 election cycle, Citizens for a Working America PAC had originally intended to back the presidential campaign of House Tea Party Caucus Chairwoman Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., but it switched to Romney's side shortly before Iowa's presidential caucuses.

The PAC's first expenditure of the 2012 election cycle came in the form of a $455,000 in support of Romney for television advertising in South Carolina, Federal Election Commission records show.

Much of that money came from New Models and Citizens for a Working America Inc., which is a nonprofit registered under section 501(c)(4) of the U.S. tax code. The 501(c)(4) nonprofit group also made a $475,000 Christmas Eve ad buy supporting Romney in Iowa, FEC records indicate. 

The Center for Public Integrity traced an address in a FEC filing for that group showing a home base of JSN Associates in Dayton, Ohio. The “JSN” is James S. Nathanson, who said the group is “very definitely pro-Romney.” He would not say who the nonprofit group’s donors are.

Before the 2012 election was over, the Citizens for a Working America PAC also made independent expenditures in a handful of U.S. House races in Indiana and Kentucky.

See more data on Citizens for a Working America PAC at OpenSecrets.org.

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Last updated: Jan. 17, 2013