Political Party/527

Swing Left

Website:

swingleft.org

PAC Type:

Carey Committee (PAC/Super PAC Hybrid)

Swing Left is a Democratic Party-aligned fundraising and voter mobilization PAC (political action committee). The PAC provides connections to Swing Left team members, information concerning specific districts, fundraising services, and canvassing opportunities within competitive districts.[1] It also offers volunteers free online training programs, simulcast technology, and interactive webinars.[2]

Background

Swing Left was established after the 2016 presidential election by Ethan Todras-Whitehill, a freelance writer for the New York Times;[3] Joshua Krafchin, a marketer and entrepreneur; and Miriam Stone, a brand strategist.[4]

Swing Left was designed as a mobilization PAC that helps raise money for Democratic candidates while also helping individuals find and commit to supporting Democratic candidates in specific swing districts during the 2018 midterm elections. The PAC has raised over $10 million for Democratic candidates.[5]

Swing Left partners with Democratic Party and left-of-center groups such as Soros Fund Management LLC, investment firm owned by left-wing mega donor George Soros; the Advocacy Fund (Tides Advocacy Fund), a donor-advised fund provider; North Six, an international production agency; and Onward Together, political action organization established by failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.[6]

Political Activity

Swing Left has provided monetary support to candidates in numerous federal and local elections. In 2018, some notable candidates that Swing Left has donated to are Harley Rouda, candidate for U.S. House of Representatives in California’s 48th district ($155,526);[7] Sharice Davids, candidate for U.S. House of Representatives in Kansas’s 3rd district ($50,000);[8] and Colin Allred, candidate for U.S. House of Representatives in Texas’s 32nd district ($60,000).[9]

Swing Left has identified a number of states it is targeting for the 2020 election: Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Wisconsin.

Arizona

In Arizona, Swing Left seeks to elect a Democratic candidate to the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Republican candidate Martha McSally, to ensure that majority of Arizona’s 11 electoral college votes are Democratic, and to elect a Democratic majority to the Arizona state legislative chambers. Both of the Arizona state legislative chambers currently have a Republican majority.

Swing Left claims that Republicans have held a majority in the legislative chambers since 2010 due to gerrymandering.

The organization’s main policy concerns in Arizona are to provide more funding for the state’s education department and to increase gun control measures. [10]

Colorado

In Colorado, Swing Left seeks to gain a Democratic majority of the state’s nine Electoral College votes and to elect a Democratic candidate to the U.S. Senate seat that is held by Republican candidate Cory Gardner.

In order to elect a Democratic candidate to the U.S. Senate seat, the Colorado Super State Strategy seeks to focus its re-election campaigns in the districts of Pueblo, Fort Collins, and Denver. The Colorado Super State Strategy seeks to expand state policy on gun control, the building of more affordable housing, and climate change.

Currently, Colorado does not require gun owners to register their firearms, hold a license, or report lost or stolen firearms. The Colorado Super State Strategy seeks to elect Democrats to federal and state legislative seats to expand legislation on gun control. [11]

Florida

In Florida, Swing Left seeks to gain a Democratic majority of the state’s 29 Electoral College votes and gain a Democratic majority of seats in the state government.

In order to gain a Democratic majority in the Florida state House of Representatives, the Florida Super State Strategy is focusing on 18 districts in Florida. In the Florida state House of Representatives, Swing Left seeks to elect Democratic candidates to a majority of the seats representing 14 districts. These districts are currently each represented by a Republican candidate, and include Tampa, St. Petersburg, Orlando, South Florida, and Miami.

The Florida Super State Strategy currently seeks to elect Democratic candidates to two seats in the Florida state Senate.

The strategy focuses on expanding policy on climate change, state voting rights, and redistricting efforts. In regard to expanding state voting rights, the strategy seeks to provide voting rights to formerly incarcerated people. In 2018, state Republican lawmakers passed legislation that withheld voting rights from formerly incarcerated citizens until they pay all outstanding legal fines and fees due to their case.

While addressing an expansion of policy on redistricting efforts, the Florida Super State Strategy seeks to redraw the 2015 state legislative district maps. Swing Left stated that a current Republican majority of legislative seats held in Florida has prevented the expansion of legislature for Medicaid and universal background checks for in-state gun sales. [12]

Georgia

The Georgia Super State Strategy seeks to elect Democratic candidates to both U.S. Senate seats, gain a Democratic control of the state’s 16 Electoral College votes, and gain a majority of Democratic seats in the Georgia State House.

There are currently 14 districts that are targeted in the Georgia Super State Strategy in the Georgia state House of Representatives. There are currently 10 Republican-held seats and four Democratic-held seats in the Georgia state House of Representatives. The strategy also seeks to gain majority of Democratic-held seats in the Georgia state senate. Currently all three seats in the state Senate are held by Republican candidates.

The Georgia Super State Strategy seeks to expand policy on gun control, health care, and redistricting efforts.

Swing Left seeks to support Democratic candidates who will overturn existing state prerequisites for voting. This includes overturning legislation that requires voters to present a voter ID before voting and prevents previously incarcerated citizens from voting.

Furthermore, with a Democratic majority in the Georgia state government, the Georgia Super State Strategy seeks to support legislation that expands Medicaid within the state. According to Swing Left, a Republican-held majority of seats in the state government has prevented 267,000 Georgian citizens from obtaining health insurance. [13]

Iowa

The Iowa Super State Strategy seeks to elect a Democratic candidate to the U.S. Senate seat currently held by candidate Joni Ernst, gain a Democratic majority of Iowa’s six Electoral College votes, and gain a majority of Democratic seats in the Iowa State House.

In the Iowa state House of Representatives, Swing Left’s strategy seeks to elect Democratic candidates to five seats held by Republican representatives. In the Iowa state Senate, the Iowa Super State Strategy seeks to elect democratic candidates to five districts. Swing Left seeks to nominate Democratic representatives to the districts of Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, and Iowa’s districts nearby and bordering Omaha, Nebraska.

The strategy seeks to expand policies on labor rights, reproductive health care, and redistricting.

Swing Left’s strategy seeks to elect democratic candidates to Iowa’s General Assembly to alter existing legislation that addresses state reproductive health care. The current legislation requires patients to have an ultrasound before receiving an abortion procedure and requires the parents of minors to be notified of the procedure before it is provided. The strategy also seeks to elect candidates that will raise the state federal minimum wage from $7.25 to keep up with the cost of living. [14]

Maine

The Maine Super State Strategy seeks to elect a Democratic candidate to the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Republican representative Susan Collins and gain a Democratic majority of Maine’s four Electoral College votes.

In order to gain a Democratic majority in the U.S. Senate, Swing Left seeks to elect Democratic representatives to the district regions of Portland, Augusta, and Bangor. These districts have been represented by senator Susan Collins for the past four election cycles.

The strategy seeks to support Democratic candidates that will expand state policy on climate change, the opioid epidemic, and the economy.

Swing Left seeks to support Democratic candidates that will address climate change legislation in Maine, to increase state funding to build stormwater management systems, and raise coastal roads affected by sea-level rise.

The strategy also seeks to support candidates that will expand legislation to address Maine’s existing labor shortage and opioid epidemic. [15]

Michigan

The Michigan Super State Strategy seeks to elect a majority of Democratic candidates to the Michigan State House of Representatives and to gain a Democratic majority of the state’s 16 Electoral College votes.

In order to gain a Democratic majority in the Michigan State House, Swing Left seeks to elect Democratic representatives to seven districts. Currently these districts are held by five Republican candidates and two Democratic candidates.

The Michigan Super State Strategy seeks to support Democratic candidates that will expand state policy on the redistricting process, climate change, and education.

In regard to expanding policy on the redistricting process, Swing Left seeks to support candidates that will support Michigan’s redistricting commission. This commission creates and votes on voting maps that divide Michigan into voting districts.

Swing Left also seeks to support candidates that will increase funding to state, charter, and public schools, and support limits to the quantity of the chemical PFAS permitted in Michigan’s public water systems. [16]

North Carolina

The North Carolina Super State Strategy seeks to elect a Democratic candidate to the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Republican representative Thom Tillis, gain a Democratic majority of the state’s 15 Electoral College votes, and gain a Democratic majority of the North Carolina state legislature.

In the North Carolina state Senate, Swing Left seeks to elect Democratic candidates to eight districts. Six of these districts are currently held by Republican representatives and two of these districts are currently held by Democratic representatives. In regard to North Carolina’s recently drawn voting districts, Swing Left seeks to elect Democratic candidates to districts within Raleigh, Fayetteville, Charlotte, and Winston-Salem.

In the North Carolina state House of Representatives, Swing Left seeks to elect Democratic candidates to 12 districts. Seven of these districts are currently held by Republican representatives and five of these districts are currently held by Democratic representatives. In 2019, state courts created new districts in Fayetteville, Charlotte, and Winston-Salem.

The North Carolina Super State Strategy seeks to address legislation on redistricting processes, expanding state reproductive healthcare practices and civil rights for the LGBT community.

Swing Left seeks to elect Democratic candidates that will uphold the 2018 federal court decision that ordered that 13 of North Carolina’s congressional districts were unconstitutionally drawn in favor of the Republican party. State legislators are currently redrawing these districts for elections in 2020. These districts must be reviewed and approved by the North Carolina State Supreme Court.

The strategy also seeks to elect candidates that will expand legislation that addresses housing and addresses employment discrimination faced by the LGBT community in North Carolina, and to overturn existing requirements that minors to receive parental consent before receiving an abortion, that all patients receive a mandatory ultrasound, and that all patients receive anti-abortion counseling before receiving treatment. [17]

Ohio

The Ohio Super State Strategy seeks to gain a Democratic majority in the Ohio State House and to gain a Democratic majority of the state’s 18 Electoral College votes. Currently there is a supermajority of Republican representatives in the Ohio State House.

In the Ohio state House of Representatives, Swing Left seeks to elect Democratic candidates to seven districts, six of which are currently held by Republicans.

In the Ohio state Senate, Swing Left seeks to elect Democratic state senators to three districts. Two of these districts are represented by the Republican party.

In 2020, Swing Left seeks to elect Democratic candidates to the districts of Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, Akron, and Dayton.

The strategy also seeks to elect candidates that will expand legislation that addresses an expansion of state reproductive health care and voting rights. Swing Left states that it seeks to support Democratic candidates in Ohio that will overturn legislation that address the existing temporary hold on the Ohio 2019 anti-abortion ban and existing procedural prerequisites for women to obtain an abortion. These requirements include a 24-hour waiting period to have an abortion procedure, and mandatory anti-abortion counseling before receiving the procedure.

Swing Left also seeks to support state representatives that will overturn existing state voting rights legislation. The Ohio Super State Strategy seeks to implement early voting practices that allow Ohio voters to register and vote in the first week of early voting, and to expand the available poll voting hours on election day. [18]

Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania, Swing Left seeks to elect a Democratic majority to the state legislature and gain a Democratic majority for the state’s 20 Electoral College votes in upcoming elections. Swing Left seeks to achieve this by focusing on winning a Democratic majority of five district seats. These districts include Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, Erie, and the Philadelphia suburbs. Currently four seats are held by the Republican party and one is held by the Democratic party.

Swing Left seeks to flip the Republican majority for 16 seats for the state Pennsylvania House. Currently 13 of these seats are held by the Republican party and three seats are held by the Democratic party. These seats represent 16 districts that are represented by 11 seats in southeast Pennsylvania and five seats in Harrisburg, Wilkes-Barre, and the Pittsburgh suburbs. [19]

Texas

The Texas Super State Strategy seeks to gain a Democratic majority of the state’s 38 Electoral College votes, gain a majority of Democratic representatives in the Texas State House, and to elect a Democratic senator to the U.S. Senate seat that is currently held by Republican senator John Cornyn.

In the Texas House of Representatives, Swing Left seeks to nominate Democratic candidates to 11 districts. Nine of these districts are currently held by Republican representatives and two of these districts are held by Democratic representatives. In 2020, Swing Left seeks to elect Democratic representative candidates to the districts of the Dallas/Fort Worth metropolitan area and to the Houston metropolitan area.

In the Texas state Senate, Swing Left seeks to elect a Democratic candidate to a seat currently held by a Republican senator. The district for this seat is San Antonio.

The Texas Super State Strategy seeks to elect Democratic candidates that will support legislation that expands funding to health care practices. Specifically, the strategy discusses expanding state support of Medicaid coverage, and overturning mandatory requirements for mandatory counseling, ultrasound, and a 24-hour waiting period to precede obtaining an abortion procedure. [20]

Wisconsin

The Wisconsin Super State Strategy seeks to gain a Democratic majority of the state’s 10 Electoral College votes and elect a Democratic majority to the Wisconsin state legislature in 2022.

In the Wisconsin state Assembly, Swing Left seeks to elect Democratic candidates to eight districts. Seven of these districts are held by Republican representatives and one district is held by a Democratic representative.

In the Wisconsin state Senate, Swing Left seeks to elect Democratic candidates to four districts. Two of these districts are held by Republican representatives and two districts are held by Democratic representatives. In the 2020 elections, only half of the Senate will be up for re-election. The Wisconsin Super State Strategy seeks to elect Democratic candidates to the Assembly and the Senate in the districts of Milwaukee, the Minneapolis suburbs, and districts in central and southwest Wisconsin.

The strategy seeks to elect Democratic candidates that will expand legislation in regard to policy on education and reproductive health care practices. The strategy discusses electing Democratic candidates that will increase teacher salaries and benefits, and overturn mandatory requirements for receiving counseling and a waiting period of 24-hours before receiving the abortion procedure. [21]

Funding

In 2018, Swing Left relied on donations from 5,580 individuals and various labor unions, receiving a total of $13.2 million. The most notable contributions Swing Left has received came from Soros Fund Management LLC and the Advocacy Fund (Tides Advocacy Fund). Soros Fund Management donated $50,000 to Swing Left in 2018. The Tides Advocacy Fund, a left of center donor-adviser fund provider, donated $250,000 to Swing Left in 2018.[22]

Expenditures

In the 2018 election cycle, Swing Left spent a total of about $10 million. Swing Left spent $5.1 million on contributions with $4,861,748 of that sum being applied to federal candidates and $91,451 being applied to state and local candidates. The PAC spent a total of $981,000 on media with about $522,134 of that sum being applied to web advertisements. It also spent $773,232 on campaign strategy and communications consulting. [23]

Notable Vendors

Swing Left provided to various venders throughout the 2018 election cycle. The top vendors and recipients included Michelle Finocchi Communications, which Swing Left paid roughly $160,000; the fundraising service ActBlue, which received around $175,378; Facebook, which received around $345,954; and 270 Strategies, which was paid $357,796.[24]

References

  1. Left, Swing. “Take Back the House by Supporting Your Local Swing District.” District Resources | Swing Left. Accessed November 28, 2018. https://swingleft.org/about. ^
  2. “About.” Swing Left Academy. Accessed November 28, 2018. https://academy.swingleft.org/about-us/. ^
  3. Todras-Whitehill, Ethan, 2018, Ethan Todras-Whitehall, LinkedIn, viewed Nov. 2016, https://www.linkedin.com/in/ethan-todras-whitehill-1808944. ^
  4. Left, Swing. “Take Back the House by Supporting Your Local Swing District.” District Resources | Swing Left. Accessed November 28, 2018. https://swingleft.org/about. ^
  5. Left, Swing. “Keep Fighting with Swing Left.” District Resources | Swing Left. Accessed November 28, 2018. https://swingleft.org/. ^
  6. “Swing Left Contributors, 2018 Cycle.” OpenSecrets.org. Accessed November 28, 2018. https://www.opensecrets.org/pacs/pacgave2.php?cycle=2018&cmte=C00632133. ^
  7. Pappu, Sridhar. “Trying to Flip the House, ZIP Code by ZIP Code.” The New York Times. July 20, 2018. Accessed November 29, 2018. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/20/business/swing-left-primary-campaigns.html. ^
  8. “Browse Disbursements.” FEC.gov. Accessed November 29, 2018. https://www.fec.gov/data/disbursements/?two_year_transaction_period=2018&cycle=2018&data_type=processed&committee_id=C00632133&recipient_name=C00670034&min_date=01/01/2017&max_date=11/28/2018&line_number=F3X-23. ^
  9. “Browse Receipts.” FEC.gov. Accessed November 29, 2018. https://www.fec.gov/data/receipts/?two_year_transaction_period=2018&data_type=processed&committee_id=C00637868&contributor_name=swing left&min_date=01/01/2017&max_date=10/25/2018. ^
  10. “Arizona Super State Strategy.” Swing Left, n.d. https://swingleft.org/p/colorado ^
  11. “Colorado Super State Strategy.” Swing Left, n.d. https://swingleft.org/p/colorado ^
  12. “Florida  Super State Strategy.” Swing Left, n.d.  https://swingleft.org/p/florida ^
  13. “ Georgia Super State Strategy.” Swing Left , n.d.  https://swingleft.org/p/georgia ^
  14. “Iowa Super State Strategy.” Swing Left, n.d. https://swingleft.org/p/iowa ^
  15. “Maine Super State Strategy.” Swing Left, n.d.  https://swingleft.org/p/maine ^
  16. “Michigan Super State Strategy.” Swing Left, n.d. https://swingleft.org/p/michigan ^
  17. “North Carolina Super State Strategy.” Swing Left, n.d. https://swingleft.org/p/north-carolina ^
  18. “Ohio Super State Strategy.” Swing Left, n.d.  https://swingleft.org/p/ohio ^
  19. “Pennsylvania Super State Strategy.” Swing Left, n.d. https://swingleft.org/p/pennsylvania ^
  20. “Texas Super State Strategy.” Swing Left, n.d. https://swingleft.org/p/texas ^
  21. “Wisconsin  Super State Strategy.” Swing Left, n.d.  https://swingleft.org/p/wisconsin ^
  22. “Browse Receipts.” FEC.gov. Accessed November 29, 2018. https://www.fec.gov/data/receipts/?two_year_transaction_period=2018&data_type=processed&committee_id=C00632133&contributor_name=The advocacy fund&min_date=01/01/2017&max_date=10/25/2018. ^
  23. “Swing Left Expenditures.” OpenSecrets.org. Accessed November 29, 2018. https://www.opensecrets.org/pacs/expenditures.php?cycle=2018&cmte=C00632133. ^
  24. “Swing Left Expenditures.” OpenSecrets.org. Accessed November 29, 2018. https://www.opensecrets.org/pacs/expenditures.php?cycle=2018&cmte=C00632133. ^

Directors, Employees & Supporters

  1. Ian Simmons
    Supporter
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