Last week, high-profiled lesbians launched a unique super PAC to highlight women’s and gay rights. Called LPAC, this independent super PAC was formed with the mission of an action committee to champion candidates and causes that appeal to lesbian voters.
How Does It Work?
LPAC is a hybrid PAC, meaning that like a super PAC, it can raise unlimited money for independent expenses, but may contribute limited amounts directly to candidates if the operations remain separate. So far, this group has received pledges of $200,000 and hopes to raise $1 million for electing candidates such as lesbian Tammy Baldwin from Wisconsin to the U.S. Senate. Besides Baldwin, members are deciding on other candidates and causes to support.
Timing Couldn’t Be Better!
This November, policies are being considered that would restrict women’s birth control and abortion rights as well as ban same-sex marriage. With those ideologies looming large in the minds of liberal voters, the board’s eight-members come from the world of liberal media, business and politics. They include Glee star Jane Lynch, former tennis superstar Billie Jean King, and former Executive Director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Urvashi Vaid. Three LPAC members helped to mastermind FightBack New York: pollster Donna Victoria, strategist Val Berlin, and lobbyist Emily Giske. Another member Alix Ritchie is the former publisher of the Provincetown Banner.
The Treasurer and Chairwoman is Sarah Schmidt, a management consultant and philanthropist. Her wealth was derived from the success of U.S. Venture, Inc., a gas distributor. Laura Ricketts, one of the founding members, is the co-chair of the Democratic National Committee’s LGBT Leadership Council and daughter of conservative TD Ameritrade founder Joe Ricketts, co-owner of the Chicago Cubs.
How is This Different From Other Fund-Raising GLBT Groups?
Unlike the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund supporting GLTB candidates, and Emily’s List, whose raison d’etre is electing Democratic women who support abortion rights, LPAC is bipartisan. Although it will support candidates who share its principles regardless of sexual orientation, sex or gender, LPAC is collaborating with these organizations to augment their initial efforts to influence voices in mainstream politics.
While spearheaded by many Democratic women, LPAC will also promote issues of concern for like-minded men such as health care access, reproductive freedom, income inequality, and racial justice.