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Elizabeth Warren, Long a Super PAC Critic, Gets Help From One

Elizabeth Warren, Long a Super PAC Critic, Gets Help From One

LAS VEGAS — Supporters of Senator Elizabeth Warren have formed a last-minute super PAC to boost her candidacy in Nevada and are plunging $1 million into television and other ads in the race’s final days, despite the Massachusetts senator’s previous outspoken opposition to such groups.

The group, which calls itself the Persist PAC, filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission on Tuesday and immediately booked nearly $800,000 in television ads, running a 30-second spot that features footage of former President Barack Obama praising Ms. Warren as an advocate for the middle class.

Ms. Warren’s campaign issued a statement early Wednesday saying her opposition to super PACs remained unchanged: “Since day one of this campaign, she has made clear that she thinks all of the candidates should lock arms together and say we don’t want super PACs and billionaires to be deciding our Democratic nominee.” The statement did not explicitly call for the group to stop airing ads.

Super PACs must operate independently of candidates, and their donors are eventually disclosed, though that disclosure will come long after Nevada holds its caucuses on Saturday.

At the last Democratic debate, in New Hampshire, Ms. Warren had used the fact that neither she nor Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota had a super PAC as a cudgel to hit the rest of their opponents. “Everyone on this stage except Amy and me is either a billionaire or is receiving help from PACs that can do unlimited spending,” she said then.

On Tuesday, a super PAC supportive of Ms. Klobuchar, which calls itself the Kitchen Table Conversations PAC, also began reserving more than $400,000 in television time in Nevada and South Carolina. The first ad focuses on Ms. Klobuchar’s advocacy for women who have been kicked out of hospitals after giving birth.

The Klobuchar campaign stood by its opposition to super PACs while not explicitly calling for the new group to pull its ads.

With the two new super PACs, every candidate who will be on the debate stage in Las Vegas on Wednesday is either a billionaire (former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York) or supported by super PACs that are not subject to campaign contribution limits (former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., former Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind., and Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont). Tom Steyer, another billionaire, is competing aggressively in Nevada but did not qualify for this debate.

The pro-Warren super PAC will be led by a four-person board of women active in Democratic politics: Denise Feriozzi, Kristine Kippins, Karin Johanson and Kim Rogers. While the group has reserved ads only in Nevada, a person familiar with its activities said it was evaluating expanding to states later in the voting calendar.

“Senator Warren is the best candidate to take on Donald Trump and win, and we’re going to ensure primary voters and caucusgoers hear her message,” said Joshua Karp, a spokesman for the Persist PAC.


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