Two former pro-Rand Paul super PACs with potentially significant financial backing will support the Libertarian Party’s presidential ticket of Gary Johnson and Bill Weld in 2016, according to their respective leaders.
Ed Crane, formerly of the Cato Institute and founder of Purple PAC, says he plans to use his organization to advocate for Johnson’s candidacy with the goal of raising $10 million.
Likewise, Libertarians will have the support of Concerned American Voters PAC, whose senior adviser, Matt Kibbe, attended the party’s convention in Orlando on Saturday and Sunday.
Another positive development for the Libertarian cause emerged on Tuesday when Chris Rufer, founder of The Morning Star Co., told The Hill he would donate at least $1 million to one of the two pro-Johnson PACs — the largest contribution to a Libertarian advocacy group ever.
In 2012, Rufer donated $500,000 of the $670,000 received by super PACs supporting Johnson’s cause.
Perhaps more significantly, Rufer is part of the Koch political donor network, which largely supports libertarian causes. Earlier this month, David Koch was rumored to be in talks with party insiders to contribute “tens of millions of dollars” to a Johnson-Weld campaign ticket.
“I wish (Johnson and Weld) were more charismatic. But they are good folks. Nobody can say they are klutzes,” said Rufer.
After pausing, he continued, “Well I am sure some people could say they are klutzes, but they are strong folks. It’s an opportunity to make some noise and get the message out.”
Johnson is in dire need of more financial support. Before receiving just under one percent of the popular vote in 2012, the Libertarian candidate raised a total of only $2.3 million.
In 2016, the two major party candidates are projected to raise a combined $2 billion, but if Johnson can garner at least 15 percent support in national polls, he will be included in the presidential debates.
“A lot of people are saying they don’t like Trump, but they don’t like Hillary either,” said Crane of Purple PAC. “We are going to get money from the left, from wealthy liberals appalled at the thought of Hillary.”
[Washington Post] [The Hill] [Photo courtesy AP/John Raoux via Naples Herald]