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Unions Back New Super PAC Against Scott Brown

First Posted: 10/14/2011 2:09 pm Updated: 12/14/2011 4:12 am

WASHINGTON -- Democrats and unions are forming a super PAC in Massachusetts to oppose the re-election of Republican Sen. Scott Brown.

The unlimited-money committee, called Rethink PAC, is backed by the Service Employees International Union and the Massachusetts Teachers Association. The group will be led by Liz Morningstar and Charles Steel Fisher, both seasoned former aides to Gov. Deval Patrick (D). Its formation was first reported by the Boston Globe.

"Scott Brown has a pattern of saying one thing and doing another. We want to let the voters of Massachusetts know who he is really working for down in Washington," Rethink PAC spokesman Steve Crawford told The Huffington Post. "Based on his record, it's not people who are struggling to make ends meet back here in the Bay State."

The group plans to officially launch in two or three weeks. Crawford said the PAC aims to raise money from the grassroots as well as from unions and major donors.

"We will be encouraging individuals to donate to the committee," Crawford said. "The people on the team have extensive experience in grassroots fundraising, and we hope that will be a meaningful component as we move forward."

The creation of Rethink PAC marks another step in the emergence of super PACs as a key campaign tool. This year has already seen the rise of individual candidate super PACs on the presidential level and the formation of one super PAC to support the re-election of Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah). Rethink PAC is thus the second-known super PAC dedicated to a single Senate race.

Super PACs were born after two court rulings -- the more famous being the 2010 Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission -- allowed independent groups to raise unlimited contributions from corporations, unions and individuals to spend on elections.

Brown is likely to face Democratic consumer advocate Elizabeth Warren in the general election. Warren has raised $3.15 million in less than a month since she entered the race in mid-September. Brown raised $1.55 million from July through September and has $9.6 million on hand.

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