|Jennifer Yachnin, E&E reporter|
|Published: Wednesday, October 22, 2014|
The fledgling Vote Climate U.S. PAC issued its first endorsements in the 2014 election cycle today, backing Democrats in Senate races in New Hampshire, Michigan and Minnesota as well as three House contests.
The Maryland-based political action committee, established in late 2013 by state political activist Karyn Strickler, pledged its support in six races.
“Our priority races were carefully chosen in order to begin to position climate change as a powerful electoral issue,” Strickler said in a statement.
Those candidates include Michigan Rep. Gary Peters (D), who is competing with former Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land (R) for an open Senate seat; New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D), who is locked in a re-election battle with former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown (R); and Minnesota Sen. Al Franken (D), who faces a challenge from Republican Mike McFadden.
Vote Climate U.S. PAC will also support California Rep. Scott Peters (D) in his 52nd District re-election fight with former San Diego City Councilman Carl DeMaio (R), Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar (D) in his battle with Republican Paul Chabot over California’s open 31st District seat, and former Colorado House Speaker Andrew Romanoff in his bid against 6th District Rep. Mike Coffman (R).
“We chose races where climate change is a pivotal issue, candidates are leaders on the issue and victory is not guaranteed,” Strickler said. “These are races where climate change activists can get involved by volunteering, promoting candidates on social media, donating or voting, and make the difference for the candidates and the issue.”
The PAC, which has raised about $16,000 since its inception according to campaign finance reports, will not put up any television or radio ads in any of the contests, Strickler told E&ENews PM, focusing instead on low-cost social media campaigns.
The group boasted an unusual kickoff in which Strickler raised about $3,000 for the committee in funds via the crowdfunding website IndieGogo.com (E&E Daily, Dec. 5, 2013).
The PAC is no longer using the crowdfunding website, Strickler said, although she did not rule out doing so in the future.
Strickler said the PAC will aim to air targeted ads in the 2016 cycle, likely featuring videos the group refers to as its “Holy Bleep Mabel” series.
The ads will feature a couple called Manny and Mabel as they experience extreme weather related to climate change.