Priorities USA Action, the super PAC that backed President Obama’s candidacy in 2012, is expected to refashion itself to support a potential 2016 candidacy of Hillary Clinton, along with an effort this year to draw big-dollar donors from entertainment.
The Washington Post reports that the org is to announce a new leadership team on Friday that includes Buffy Wicks, a field organizer for Obama’s campaigns, as its executive director, as well as Jonathan Mantz, who served as Clinton’s national finance director during her 2008 campaign, as senior adviser.
Jeffrey Katzenberg, who provided initial seed money for Priorities USA in the last election cycle, and, along with political adviser Andy Spahn, served as a key fundraiser for the group, is expected to also raise for the group in its new orientation to a potential Clinton candidacy. Other industry figures, like Morgan Freeman, Steven Spielberg and Bill Maher gave $1 million or more each to the SuperPAC in the last election cycle.
The announcement on Friday is a signal that the group is to start pursuing donors, even though Clinton herself has not said whether she will run.
Priorities USA is operating independently from her, and will do so even if she does run. The intent is to raise money to run advertisements that would be a boost to her candidacy, just as a series of Priorities-funded spots targeting Mitt Romney helped Obama in 2012.
Another super PAC, Ready for Hillary, announced earlier this week that it had raised more than $4 million last year. It has targeted donors via low-dollar events, like a fundraiser in downtown Los Angeles in November with a $20.16 entrance fee and Omarosa of “Celebrity Apprentice” as one of the guests. “Homeland” producer Howard Gordon held an introductory event for the group at his home in December to woo potential donors, while figures such as Marcy Carsey and Bonnie Turner gave contributions to the super PAC last year.