Political Party/527

Persist PAC

Location:

Washington, DC

Formation:

2020

Treasurer:

Christopher Koob

Type:

Super PAC

Persist PAC is a Super PAC established to support the unsuccessful Democratic Presidential primary campaign of U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). Persist was launched just ahead of the Nevada caucuses, following a poor showing by Sen. Warren in the 2020 Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary. Persist filed for incorporation on Februrary 18, 2020, initially garnering little support; it was only able to raise around $500,000 in that month. [1] A $250,000 donation was gifted from Emily’s List, a political committee that supports pro-abortion female Democrats. [2]

After a huge infusion of cash by an initially undisclosed donor later identified as liberal political donor Karla Jurvetson,[3]  the PAC announced over $12 million in ad buys just ahead of the Nevada caucuses, including markets in California, Texas, and Massachusetts. [4]

People

Persist PAC received the majority of its funding ($14.6 million) in February 2020 by Women Vote! donor Karla Jurvetson. [5] Ahead of the 2020 Iowa caucuses, Women Vote! purchased advertisements supporting Warren, an initiative which the Washington Post linked to Jurvetson. [6] She also reportedly paid $100,00 for Warren’s campaign to access the Democratic National Committee’s voter database. [7]  As of April 30, 2020, Persist PAC had received funding of just over $15 million, over 98% of which was provided by Jurvetson. [8]

PAC spokesperson Joshua Karp is the former communications director of both the Florida Democratic Party and Virginia Senate Democratic Caucus. He later worked in the same capacity for then-U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy’s (D-FL) unsuccessful 2016 campaign against incumbent Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL). [9]

Christopher Koob is treasurer and Custodian of Records for Persist. His role in the PAC raised some eyebrows as he is the former COO of Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE), which has advocated for oil drilling in the Arctic and natural gas hydraulic fracturing more commonly known as “fracking.” [10] Warren went on record as saying on her first day as President she would place a “total moratorium on all new fossil fuel leases for drilling offshore and on public lands” and “ban fracking everywhere.” [11]

Controversy

Opposition to super PAC funding was initially a major talking point for Warren’s campaign. Warren ran an ad just ahead of the Iowa caucuses highlighting the fact that she was “not cozying up to super PACs,”[12] and her campaign had previously informed Washington Post “Fact Checker” columnist Glenn Kessler that it would ask any Super PAC supporting her to “cease its operations.” [13]

References

  1. Thompson, Alex. “Mystery Warren Super PAC Funder Revealed.” Politco. March 20, 2020. Accessed June 15, 2020. https://www.politico.com/news/2020/03/20/mystery-warren-super-pac-funder-revealed-140233 ^
  2. Merica, Dan. “Warren Super PAC Won’t Disclose Donors Early Despite Candidate’s Request.” CNN.com Website. February 28. 2020. Accessed June 15, 2020. https://www.cnn.com/2020/02/28/politics/elizabeth-warren-super-pac/index.html ^
  3. Thompson, Alex. “Mystery Warren Super PAC Funder Revealed.” Politco. March 20, 2020. Accessed June 15, 2020. https://www.politico.com/news/2020/03/20/mystery-warren-super-pac-funder-revealed-140233 ^
  4. “Elizabeth Warren Gets Giant Lift From Persist PAC.” The New York Times. February 27, 2020. Accessed June 15, 2020. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/27/us/politics/elizabeth-warren-super-pac.html ^
  5. Thompson, Alex. “Mystery Warren Super PAC Funder Revealed.” Politco. March 20, 2020. Accessed June 15, 2020. https://www.politico.com/news/2020/03/20/mystery-warren-super-pac-funder-revealed-140233 ^
  6. Lee, Michelle Ye Hee. “Sper PAC Launches to Support Elizabth Warren, who Has Decried the Role of Super PACs. The Washington Post. February 19, 2020. Accessed June 15, 2020. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/super-pac-launches-to-support-elizabeth-warren-who-has-decried-the-role-of-super-pacs/2020/02/19/92446db0-5326-11ea-929a-64efa7482a77_story.html ^
  7.   Cramer, Ruby. “Elizabeth Warren’s Campaign Turned to a Big Donor to Pay for the DNC Voter Database Despite Her Fundraising Pledge.” Buzzfeed News. July 15, 2019. Accessed June 15, 2020. https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/rubycramer/elizabeth-warren-fundraising-dnc ^
  8. Open Secrets. “Persist PAC.” Open Secrets Website. April 30, 2020. Accessed June 15, 2020. https://www.opensecrets.org/pacs/lookup2.php?cycle=2020&strID=C00739110 ^
  9. Dixon, Matt. “Patrick Murphy Hires State Democratic Communications Director.” Politico. July 2, 2015. Accessed June 15, 2020. https://www.politico.com/story/2015/07/patrick-murphy-hires-state-democratic-communications-director-119690 ^
  10. Kalmbacher, Colin. Elizabeth Warren Super Pac Run by Former ‘Oil Advocacy’ Group Fromtman.” Law & Crime. February 28, 2020. Accessed June 15, 2020. https://lawandcrime.com/2020-election/elizabeth-warren-super-pac-run-by-former-oil-advocacy-group-frontman/ ^
  11. Warren, Elizabeth. Twitter.com Website. September 6, 2019. Accessed June 15, 2020. https://twitter.com/ewarren/status/1170070887887986690?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cnbc.com%2F2019%2F11%2F11%2Fyergin-against-elizabeth-warrens-fracking-ban-pledge-adipec-2019.html ^
  12. Goldmacher, Shane. Twitter.com. February 27, 2020. Accessed June 15, 2020. https://twitter.com/ShaneGoldmacher/status/1233232449133518849 ^
  13. Kessler, Glenn. “Sen. Warren Says She Doesn’t ‘Take PAC Money of Any Kind.’ What Does That Mean?” The Washington Post. January 25, 2019. Accessed June 15, 2020.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/01/25/warren-says-she-doesnt-take-pac-money-any-kind-what-does-that-mean/ ^

Directors, Employees & Supporters

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Persist PAC


Washington, DC