INDIANAPOLIS – Last Thursday’s announcement of the creation of a bespoke Super PAC for Rep. Mike Braun should feel familiar for Hoosiers who realize it’s led by the same New Hampshire Republican in charge of the Super PAC that dragged Trey Hollingsworth across the finish line last year.
Unveiled Thursday, Our Indiana Voice is the latest sign that Rep. Braun is a top-tier candidate in the GOP primary. The Super PAC will be able to raise unlimited sums on Rep. Braun’s behalf that will complement the money he himself is contributing to his own campaign – nearly $1 million and counting.
The Super PAC lists several employees, but the most notable name for Hoosiers will be David Carney, the New Hampshire-based head of the Super PAC. Carney recently oversaw Indiana Jobs Now, a similar Super PAC based out of Virginia for Trey Hollingsworth conceived and largely funded by Hollingsworth’s father. The organization ultimately spent $1.5 million on Hollingsworth’s bid for the Ninth Congressional District.
While Hollingsworth was ultimately elected, he was a controversial at-best candidate, and both he and his Super PAC were criticized by observers. Fred Wertheimer, the president of campaign finance watchdog Democracy 21, called Hollingsworth’s family-funded Super PAC a “flat out evasion of campaign-contribution limits.” He continued, “The notion that a super PAC funded by a family member … is independent is simply an oxymoron.” Hollingsworth’s primary GOP opponent, Greg Zoeller, described it as part of an “unknown territory… where there are no rules.”
“Hoosiers want their elected officials to run for office with hard work and a willingness to listen, not with bespoke Super PACs powered by unlimited money. Their candidates are expected to work for their seats, not buy them,” said Will Baskin-Gerwitz, Senior Media Strategist for the Indiana Democratic Party. “Voters are tired of unaccountable groups like Our Indiana Voice misleading them and poisoning the political discourse, and if this is how Rep. Braun believes he’s going to win over Hoosiers, he’s dead wrong.”