Political Party/527

PACRONYM

Website:

www.PACRONYM.org

Location:

Washington, DC

Tax ID:

C0-0646877

Formation:

2017

President/CEO:

Tara McGowan

Treasurer:

Steven Mele

PACRONYM is a Super PAC affiliated with ACRONYM, a left-of-center political and advocacy organization. PACRONYM was formed to oppose Republican candidates and President Donald Trump’s re-election through digital advertising campaigns. Its initial ad campaigns were focused on state legislative races for the 2018 elections. [1]

Its strategy for the 2020 election is reportedly focused on digital advertising in several identified swing states for the presidential election: Arizona, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. PACRONYM purchases advertisements on the prominent social media and digital streaming platforms Google, Facebook, Hulu, Instagram, Pandora, and YouTube. [2]

Activities

Most funding for the 2018 election cycle was devoted to campaigns in state legislatures.

PACRONYM raises small-dollar contributions through ActBlue, a PAC which collates small donations for Democrats and liberals at a large scale. ActBlue then makes donations to PACRONYM. [3]

On November 4, 2019, PACRONYM launched an advertising campaign with a reported target expenditure of $75 million to oppose President Donald Trump’s 2020 presidential campaign, called “Four is Enough.” The campaign is advised by David Plouffe, who was campaign manager for then-Senator Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. The campaign is focused on creating targeted ads across social media platforms in battleground states for the 2020 presidential election. Targeted states include Arizona, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina. Part of the campaign has included conveying expletives and calling for President Trump’s impeachment. [4] [5] [6] [7]

On November 5, 2019, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton publicly endorsed PACRONYM’s $75 million campaign launched the day before. [8]

PACRONYM’s campaign was launched five days after Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announced Twitter would no longer allow political ads, and as a result many PACRONYM ads created for Twitter were not allowed to run. [9] [10]

On January 30, 2020, PACRONYM ran an ad contending that President Donald Trump was impeached for “withholding military aid to Ukraine for his own gain” and that Trump is guilty of abuse of power. The ad included the phone numbers for nine U.S. senators, although there is no explicit call to action. [11]

On March 17, 2020, PACRONYM announced that it would be spending $5 million ($2.5 million by the end of April, the rest by the end of July) on digital advertisements attacking President Donald Trump for his response to the coronavirus pandemic. “This is a public health issue and a national security issue, but it’s also a public policy issue and thus a political one,” PACRONYM president Tara McGowan said. [12] The adverts are set up to run on multiple platforms, including Facebook and Google, and are targeting five swing states: Arizona, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. [13]

People

Tara McGowan

For more information, see Tara McGowan.

Tara McGowan is the head of PACRONYM and its associated social-welfare arm ACRONYM. McGowan is a prominent Democratic digital operative who worked as digital producer for then-President Barack Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign, and as press secretary for Senator Jack Reed (D-RI). McGowan has also been employed as digital director of NextGen Climate Action[14] and as digital director of Priorities USA Action. [15]

McGowan also founded and Lockwood Strategy Lab, a left-wing political campaign consultancy that is wholly owned by ACRONYM. Lockwood Strategy’s largest client is PACRONYM and officially describes PACRONYM as an “affiliated political organization.” [16] [17] [18]

McGowan called Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale “bloviating” and “mediocre” in response to Parscale’s comments about McGowan’s earlier statements on ACRONYM’s political strategy. [19]

David Plouffe

David Plouffe managed Obama’s 2008 campaign and operated as an adviser during the second term of the Obama administration. In between, Plouffe took paid speaking gigs, including a $50,000 event in Azerbaijan that was sponsored by figures linked to the state’s authoritarian regime, which Plouffe tried to keep off the record. After the speech, Plouffe met Azerbajani President Ilham Aliyev, and parliament speaker Oktay Asadov. Once his transaction was made public, Plouffe donated the money to the National Democratic Institute, a foreign relations and democracy promotion organization that is formally nonpartisan but historically associated with the Democratic Party. [20] [21] [22]

In February 2017, Plouffe was fined $90,000 by the Chicago Board of Ethics. Plouffe was found to have illegally lobbied former Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D) while working for Uber as senior vice president of policy and strategy. [23]

Funding

Former senior advisor to then-President Barack Obama David Pfeiffer has called for donations to PACRONYM. [24] It received a $300,000 donation from its sister organization, ACRONYM. [25]

A number of prominent liberal donors have provided substantial contributions to PACRONYM.

  • On December 27, 2019, PACRONYM received a $1.5 million donation from billionaire investor Seth Klarman. [26]
  • On November 21, 2019, Donald Sussman donated $1 million to PACRONYM. [27]
  • Film director Steven Spielberg donated $500,000 on December 6, 2019. [28]
  • Hollywood producer Jeffrey Katzenberg donated $100,000 on December 26, 2019. [29]
  • Software executive Kenneth Duda donated $1 million on December 4, 2019. [30]
  • British-American venture capitalist Michael Mortiz donated $1 million on November 15, 2019. [31]
  • Financier George Soros donated $2,600,000 to PACRONYM between 2017 and 2019. [32]
  • Media figure Fred Eychaner donated $1,500,000 to PACRONYM between 2017 and 2019. [33]
  • ACRONYM board member and Dollar Shave Club founder Michael Dubin donated $50,000. [34]

PACRONYM also received two donations totaling $2 million from the National Democratic Redistricting Committee in 2018, led by former Obama administration U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. [35]

Contributions

In 2018, PACRONYM donated $810,000 to High Ground, which in turn spent $700,000 supporting six Democratic candidates running in Wisconsin state legislative races in 2018. [36]

PACRONYM donated $345,000 Progress NC Action, a left-wing PAC that funds Democratic candidates. [37]

PACRONYM paid the affiliated vendor Lockwood Strategy Labs $1,000,000 to run ads for Democratic candidates in Pennsylvania. [38]

References

  1. Kotch, Alex. “Who’s Behind Dems’ New $75 Million Ad Campaign?” Sludge. November 6, 2019. Accessed January 28, 2020. https://readsludge.com/2019/11/06/whos-behind-dems-new-75-million-ad-campaign/ ^
  2. Glazer, Emily. “Progressive PAC Launches $75 Million Digital Advertising Push.” The Wall Street Journal. November 4, 2019. Accessed January 29 2020. https://www.wsj.com/livecoverage/campaign-wire-election-2020/card/1573230333 ^
  3. Fischer, Sara. “Democrats launch $75 million digital campaign to take on Trump.” Axios. November 4, 2019. Accessed February 1, 2020. https://www.axios.com/democrats-digital-campaign-donald-trump-acronym-45c6165d-0dcc-45b6-a9de-8651d50a888a.html ^
  4. Culliford, Elizabeth. “Democratic Groups Launch $75 Million Digital Ad Effort to Fight Donald Trump.” Reuters. November 4, 2019. Accessed January 25, 2020. https://ijr.com/democratic-groups-launch-75-million-digital-ad-trump/ ^
  5. Kotch, Alex. “Who’s Behind Dems’ New $75 Million Ad Campaign?” Sludge. November 6, 2019. Accessed January 28, 2020. https://readsludge.com/2019/11/06/whos-behind-dems-new-75-million-ad-campaign/ ^
  6. Pacronym. Twitter Post. January 7, 2020, 10:07 P.M. Accessed February 1, 2020. https://twitter.com/PACRONYM/status/1214745350260580353 ^
  7. Pacronym. Twitter Post. December 27, 2019, 5:49 P.M. Accessed February 1, 2020. https://twitter.com/PACRONYM/status/1210694118810308610 ^
  8. Clinton, Hillary. Twitter Post. November 5, 2019, 10:46 A.M. Accessed February 1, 2020. https://twitter.com/HillaryClinton/status/1191743631427801096 ^
  9. Dorsey, Jack. Twitter Post. October 30, 2019, 4:05 P.M. Accessed February 1, 2020. https://twitter.com/jack/status/1189634360472829952 ^
  10. Corasaniti, Nick. “The Twitter Ads That Weren’t.” The New York Times. November 19, 2019. Accessed January 30, 2020. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/19/us/politics/twitter-banned-political-ads.html ^
  11. Pacronym. Twitter Post. January 30, 2020, 8:10 A.M. Accessed February 1, 2020. https://twitter.com/PACRONYM/status/1222869571356348417 ^
  12. Stanley-Becker, Isaac. “Democratic Groups to Spend Millions Hitting Trump over Coronavirus Response.” The Washington Post. WP Company, March 17, 2020. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/democratic-groups-to-spend-millions-hitting-trump-over-coronavirus-response/2020/03/17/5f9fadba-686c-11ea-9923-57073adce27c_story.html. ^
  13. Stanley-Becker, Isaac. “Democratic Groups to Spend Millions Hitting Trump over Coronavirus Response.” The Washington Post. WP Company, March 17, 2020. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/democratic-groups-to-spend-millions-hitting-trump-over-coronavirus-response/2020/03/17/5f9fadba-686c-11ea-9923-57073adce27c_story.html. ^
  14. Kotch, Alex. “Who’s Behind Dems’ New $75 Million Ad Campaign?” Sludge. November 6, 2019. Accessed January 28, 2020. https://readsludge.com/2019/11/06/whos-behind-dems-new-75-million-ad-campaign/ ^
  15. Kotch, Alex. “Who’s Behind Dems’ New $75 Million Ad Campaign?” Sludge. November 6, 2019. Accessed January 28, 2020. https://readsludge.com/2019/11/06/whos-behind-dems-new-75-million-ad-campaign/ ^
  16. https://www.linkedin.com/in/taramcgowan/ ^
  17. Kotch, Alex. “Who’s Behind Dems’ New $75 Million Ad Campaign?” Sludge. November 6, 2019. Accessed January 28, 2020. https://readsludge.com/2019/11/06/whos-behind-dems-new-75-million-ad-campaign/ ^
  18. Markay, Lachlan. “How a Dem Dark-Money Group is Invading the News.” The Daily Beast. November 22, 2019. Accessed January 30, 2020. https://www.thedailybeast.com/how-a-dem-dark-money-group-is-invading-the-news ^
  19. https://twitter.com/taraemcg/status/1192255293406638080 ^
  20. Vogel, Kenneth P. “Plouffe speech in Azerbaijan draws fire.” Politico. February 12, 2009. Accessed February 1, 2020. https://www.politico.com/story/2009/02/plouffe-speech-in-azerbaijan-draws-fire-018818 ^
  21. Leibovich, Mark. “From Knife Seller to the President’s Hard Edge.” The New York Times. February 20, 2012. Accessed February 1, 2020. https://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/20/us/politics/plouffe-obama-aide-lends-firm-hand-to-campaign.html?pagewanted=all ^
  22. Falcone, Michael. “Plouffe to Donate Speech Fees to Nonprofit Group.” The New York Times. February 10, 2009. Accessed February 1, 2020. https://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/02/10/plouffe-to-donate-speech-fees-to-nonprofit-group/ ^
  23. LinkedIn, David Plouffe profile, Accessed February 1 ,2020. https://www.linkedin.com/in/david-plouffe-00662396/ ^
  24. Pacronym. Twitter Post. December 27, 2019, 5:49 P.M. Accessed February 1, 2020. https://twitter.com/PACRONYM/status/1210694118810308610 ^
  25. Kotch, Alex. “Who’s Behind Dems’ New $75 Million Ad Campaign?” Sludge. November 6, 2019. Accessed January 28, 2020. https://readsludge.com/2019/11/06/whos-behind-dems-new-75-million-ad-campaign/ ^
  26. “Itemized Receipts.” Federal Election Commission. January 30, 2020. Accessed January 30, 2020. https://docquery.fec.gov/cgi-bin/forms/C00646877/1372110/sa/11AI ^
  27. “Itemized Receipts.” Federal Election Commission. January 30, 2020. Accessed January 30, 2020. https://docquery.fec.gov/cgi-bin/forms/C00646877/1372110/sa/11AI ^
  28. “Itemized Receipts.” Federal Election Commission. January 30, 2020. Accessed January 30, 2020. https://docquery.fec.gov/cgi-bin/forms/C00646877/1372110/sa/11AI ^
  29. “Itemized Receipts.” Federal Election Commission. January 30, 2020. Accessed February 7, 2020. https://docquery.fec.gov/cgi-bin/forms/C00646877/1372110/sa/11AI ^
  30. “Itemized Receipts.” Federal Election Commission. January 30, 2020. Accessed January 30, 2020. https://docquery.fec.gov/cgi-bin/forms/C00646877/1372110/sa/11AI ^
  31. “Itemized Receipts.” Federal Election Commission. January 30, 2020. Accessed January 30, 2020. https://docquery.fec.gov/cgi-bin/forms/C00646877/1372110/sa/11AI ^
  32. Kotch, Alex. “Who’s Behind Dems’ New $75 Million Ad Campaign?” Sludge. November 6, 2019. Accessed January 28, 2020. https://readsludge.com/2019/11/06/whos-behind-dems-new-75-million-ad-campaign/ ^
  33. Kotch, Alex. “Who’s Behind Dems’ New $75 Million Ad Campaign?” Sludge. November 6, 2019. Accessed January 28, 2020. https://readsludge.com/2019/11/06/whos-behind-dems-new-75-million-ad-campaign/ ^
  34. Kotch, Alex. “Who’s Behind Dems’ New $75 Million Ad Campaign?” Sludge. November 6, 2019. Accessed January 28, 2020. https://readsludge.com/2019/11/06/whos-behind-dems-new-75-million-ad-campaign/ ^
  35. Kotch, Alex. “Who’s Behind Dems’ New $75 Million Ad Campaign?” Sludge. November 6, 2019. Accessed January 28, 2020. https://readsludge.com/2019/11/06/whos-behind-dems-new-75-million-ad-campaign/ ^
  36. “Influence Peddler of the Month – High Ground Political Fund.” Wisconsin Democracy Campaign. February 1, 2019. Accessed January 30, 2020. https://www.wisdc.org/news/press-releases/126-press-release-2019/6291-influence-peddler-of-the-month-high-ground-political-fund ^
  37. Jarvis, Craig & Raynor, David. “Help from friends, PACs and Hollywood fuels first-time candidates in NC.” The News & Observer. November 3, 2018. Accessed January 29, 2020. https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article220681525.html ^
  38. Kotch, Alex. “Who’s Behind Dems’ New $75 Million Ad Campaign?” Sludge. November 6, 2019. Accessed January 28, 2020. https://readsludge.com/2019/11/06/whos-behind-dems-new-75-million-ad-campaign/ ^

Directors, Employees & Supporters

  1. Tara McGowan
    President/CEO
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PACRONYM


Washington, DC