Former Aides Create Super PAC to Back Walker in 2016

April 17, 2015

A super PAC, which can raise and spend unlimited amounts of money to support candidates for federal office, was created by former aides to Republican Gov. Scott Walker, who is a possible 2016 presidential candidate.

The super PAC is called Unintimidated PAC, which refers to a book Walker wrote in 2013 about his successful effort to slash public employee collective bargaining rights in Wisconsin. Walker’s actions drew weeks of large protests, national media attention, an unsuccessful recall attempt against him, and a continuing flow of millions of dollars in campaign contributions from wealthy out-of-state special interests.

Unintimidated PAC was formed by Keith Gilkes, who ran Walker’s 2010 general election and 2012 recall campaigns, and Stephan Thompson, who managed Walker’s 2014 reelection. The pair will also run the PAC, along with James McCray, a GOP fundraiser and consultant for numerous U.S. Senate campaigns, who will be the PAC’s fundraising director.

Super PACs, which are registered with the Federal Election Commission (FEC), are created in order to support or attack candidates. These groups cannot coordinate their electioneering activities with candidates, but some of these PACs sharply influence whether candidates are elected or defeated because of the millions of dollars they can raise and spend on broadcast advertising, mailings, and other activities.

Unintimidated PAC is the second federal fundraising committee Walker has formed this year. The first committee was a tax-exempt 527 group called Our American Revival, which is regulated by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service and may also raise and spend unlimited amounts of cash from wealthy special interests.

527 groups are technically limited to spending money on issues and not on behalf of candidates or officeholders. But two groups have filed complaints (read about them here and here) with the FEC accusing Walker of using his 527 group to support his possible candidacy for president.