Democrats also are holding a primary Tuesday; super PAC raising money for Obama.
MANCHESTER, N.H., Jan. 9, 2012 – – As money continues to flow into the presidential primary in New Hampshire, an unexpected candidate is the beneficiary of a new super PAC. His name?
The super PAC — 1911 United — was co-founded by Howard University alumni and political organizers Che Sayles and Sinclair Skinner. It will be mobilizing volunteers in key swing states to support Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign. To start, volunteers will be in Manchester, the heart of the nation’s first primary.
“We have to start now. We can’t wait,” said Sayles, 36. “There is a Democratic primary in New Hampshire on Tuesday, and we’re participating. We can’t leave any part of the process out.”
1911 United plans to bus in 20 to 30 volunteers from Ohio and the Washington, D.C. area to work the polls Tuesday. Sayles said they will be knocking on doors to get Democrats to vote for Obama in the primary. Many of the volunteers are students from Howard University.
The super PAC is named after the year that two fraternities from historically black colleges and universities – Omega Psi Phi and Kappa Alpha Psi – were founded. Sayles is a member of Omega Psi Phi, and Skinner is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi.
“We are supportive of this president and we do believe that he’s actively working toward his goals, even with the economy. We’re not going to stand on the sidelines and watch him do it alone,” Sayles said. “This guy’s working hard, and we should work equally as hard and move forward.”
Super PACs — super political action committees — are newly legal organizations able to raise unlimited funds from corporations, unions and individuals. They are forbidden from communicating with any candidates whom they support.
Sayles described 1911 United as a super PAC that aims to be more altruistic.
“Everybody focuses in on money in politics these days, but it doesn’t have to focus on the ‘one percent,” he said. “We’re allowing a more altruistic use of a Super PAC to say that we can focus on everyday people, and we can focus on those people who need jobs and health care.”
Sayles would not rule out the possibility that 1911 United could use funds in a more conventional way, such as financing Obama ads.
“What we’re saying is that we accept that there’s going to be money in politics,” Sayles said. “You can either get rid of all the money in politics, which I think is impossible, or you can say that if money is going to be used in politics, then you have to make the best use of that money.”
According to its website, 1911 United wants to raise roughly $1.5 million during the 2012 election cycle. Priorities USA Action, the only other super PAC dedicated to supporting President Obama, has reported over $3 million in contributions thus far to the Federal Election Commission.
As for the primary on Tuesday, Sayles offered up a bold prediction: “Barack Obama will win the New Hampshire Democratic primary,” he said, with a chuckle. “I’m pretty confident on that one.”