Spending target: Unknown
The Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund is a super PAC formed in January 2013 with the goal of supporting “true” conservatives in primaries and general elections, and pushing the Republican Party further right. Its parent group has publicly attacked both House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell as members of Washington’s “ruling elite.”
By the end of 2013, the fund reported having raised $6.4 million, of which $4.7 million came in unitemized donations of less than $200. But it made no donations to any political candidates during the year, and reported no independent expenditures either opposing or supporting any candidate. Meanwhile, it spent $5.3 million in fundraising costs and other “operating expenditures,” including $15,000 in regular monthly payments since July to its chairman, Jennifer “Jenny Beth” Martin, the suburban Atlanta woman who is president and co-founder of the parent Tea Party Patriots group.
The self-described “grassroots” group raised money primarily from small donors, many of whom gave in regular, recurring amounts. The largest single donor in its first year was a Rhode Island man named Warren Galkin, who gave a total of $15,000. The largest corporate donation came from a used-car dealership in San Antonio, which gave $5,000.
Despite its heavy overhead costs, the PAC finished 2013 with more than $1 million in cash, and it had developed a list of regular donors on whom it could call for additional donations as the 2014 election season progresses. Its strength may lie less in money than in the ability to mobilize activists in elections. The group says it is “equipping activists across the country, making sure we have what is needed to organize friends, neighbors, and communities around a freedom agenda.”
The parent Tea Party Patriots group has criticized Boehner and is gathering signatures in a “fire the Speaker” petition drive, and Martin attacked the October budget deal supported by McConnell as “a complete sellout.”
Martin, in a statement quoted in early February by The Hill newspaper and the Washington Times, said the group was “looking for an alternative” to McConnell in Kentucky and to Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. Beyond that, she said the organization “will be expanding the mission into the Mississippi, Nebraska, Louisiana, Arkansas and North Carolina Senate races shortly.”