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PAC profile: Club for Growth Action

Quick stats on the super PAC

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Type of organization: Super PAC

Supports: Conservative candidates

Founded: Aug. 9, 2010

Website: clubforgrowth.org

Social media: YouTube channel, Twitter profile, Facebook page (all accounts jointly operated with Club for Growth Inc.)

Principals:

  • Chris Chocola (treasurer, president): Chocola runs the Club for Growth network. Previously, he was CEO at CTB, a manufacturing corporation in Indiana, and from 2003 to 2007, he represented Indiana’s 2nd Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Profile:

Club for Growth Action is the sister super PAC to free-market nonprofit Club for Growth Inc., which was founded by economist Stephen Moore in 1999.

The Club for Growth network’s platform of “economic freedom” includes a flat tax, lower income tax, school choice, deregulation, social security reform, free trade and the repeal of the estate tax, according to its website. The super PAC says its sole mission is to "defeat big-government politicians and replace them with economic conservatives.”

To this end, Club for Growth Action spent millions on tea party-aligned candidates in GOP primaries across the country, including numerous Senate primaries.

The group showered millions on Texas GOP primary candidate Ted Cruz, who ultimately won the U.S. Senate primary there after a runoff against establishment favorite Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst. Club for Growth Action spent roughly $5 million on ads opposing Dewhurst and an additional $600,000 supporting Cruz.

The group was also active in Indiana's GOP Senate primary, which saw tea party-aligned (and Club for Growth-backed) Richard Mourdock beat out longtime incumbent Sen. Richard Lugar in Lugar's first contested primary in decades.

Hoping to replay its victories in Indiana and Texas, Club for Growth Action was the top outside spender in the Wisconsin GOP Senate primary on Aug. 14 at nearly $1.7 million. However, the group’s favored candidate, former congressman Mark Neumann, did not win.

Its preferred candidate also lost in the Nebraska GOP Senate primary, but its favored politician prevailed in the Republican Senate primary in Arizona.

It also participated in numerous House races and spent about $10,600 on ads opposing President Barack Obama.

Some of the super PAC’s top donors are members of Club for Growth’s board of directors and other leadership roles:

  • Virginia James, a New Jersey-based investor, contributed $1.4 million and is on the group's leadership council.
  • John Childs, the founder of JW Childs Associates, a private equity firm, sits on the board and gave the super PAC $1.1 million.
  • Jerry Hayden, who sits on the board, contributed $1.1 million, and his wife, Marilyn, contributed an additional $700,000.
  • Jackson T. Stephens Jr., who gave $1 million, is chairman of the board.
  • John D. Bryon, who sits on the board, contributed $377,000.

Advertisements:

  • Moderate” slammed Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst for not being conservative enough. Club for Growth Action favored Ted Cruz, who won the primary runoff.
  • Only Worse” attacked former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson and Eric Hovde. Thompson won the GOP nomination for Senate. Club for Growth Action favored former congressman Mark Neumann.
  • Choice” attacked Indiana Sen. Dick Lugar, a moderate Republican, for supporting some of President Barack Obama’s policies.  The ad urged voters to choose Richard Mourdock, the tea party favorite who went on to defeat Lugar in the Indiana GOP primary.
  • "Typical" opposed Rep. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., who faced Mourdock in the state's Senate race in November.
  • For more ads, see Club for Growth Action’s YouTube page.

Last updated: Jan. 15, 2013