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A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

House Majority PAC

playersguide2014_135pxPolitical leanings: Democratic/liberal

Spending target: Unknown

The House Majority PAC was founded in April 2011 by Alixandria Lapp, a former Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee official (and wife of Democratic consultant John Lapp). It was one of several super PACs formed by Democrats in response to the heavy spending by conservative organizations in the 2010 midterm elections, when Republicans took control of the House. The PAC says it is focused on “holding Republicans accountable and helping Democrats win seats in the House.”

As a super PAC, it can take donations of any size from individuals, labor unions and corporations, but must disclose its donations and expenditures periodically in reports to the Federal Election Commission. During the 2012 cycle, House Majority PAC raised $35.8 million and spent $30.4 million on independent expenditures (which are funds spent on advertising and other forms of communications for or against candidates).

Chicago media mogul Fred Eychaner, chief executive officer of Newsweb Corporation, was the PAC’s biggest individual donor in 2012. Eychaner, a longtime Democratic donor, contributed $4.25 million over the election cycle. Billionaire hedge fund investor James H. Simons, founder of Renaissance Technologies and president of Euclidean Capital, contributed $1.5 million, and George Soros, chairman of Soros Fund Management, donated $675,000.

The super PAC also received money in 2012 from a number of unions. The Carpenters & Joiners Union, the Laborers’ Union and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers each donated more than $1 million. The American Federation of Teachers, the National Association of Letter Carriers and the Service Employees International Union each contributed more than $600,000.

For this campaign cycle, Eychaner had donated $1.5 million through Sept. 8, making him the group’s largest single donor. Simons and hedge fund manager David Sussman had contributed $1 million each.

In advance of the 2014 midterm elections, House Majority PAC had raised about $7.4 million in 2013, according to the PAC’s year-end report. The PAC spent about $1 million on independent expenditures in 2013, nearly all of it to oppose Republicans.

In 2014, the PAC stepped up its spending as part of its effort to go head-to-head with the conservative Americans for Prosperity.

As of Sept. 8, the PAC had spent a total of $8.55 million — including nearly $1.5 million to help Rep. Nick Rahall defend his seat in West Virginia’s 3rd congressional district against Republican challenger Evan Jenkins. The PAC had spent nearly $1.9 million opposing Jenkins and $477,123 supporting Rahall. The House Majority PAC also had spent over $500,000 each opposing three Republican candidates in Florida, Arizona, and New York.

The House Majority PAC spent about $1 million in a failed attempt to help Democrat Alex Sink win a special House election in Florida’s 13th congressional district. Sink lost the March 11 election to Republican David Jolly, who replaced the late Rep. C.W. Bill Young.

Fact-checking House Majority PAC:

Whistle-blower? Not so much, Jan. 17, 2014

Real People Really Misleading in Florida, Feb. 21, 2014

Bogus Attack in Coal Mine Country, March 19, 2014

Moldy Baloney About Vets’ Benefits, June 5