Former Rep. Tauscher’s Super PAC Aims to Turn 7 Red California Seats Blue

Group plans to spend $10 million between now and June

Former Rep. Ellen Tauscher served in Congress from 1997 to 2009, when she became Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs in the Obama administration. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Former Rep. Ellen Tauscher served in Congress from 1997 to 2009, when she became Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs in the Obama administration. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Posted June 20, 2017 at 12:07pm

Republicans hold 14 House seats in California. A new super PAC co-founded by former Rep. Ellen Tauscher wants to cut that number in half next year.

The super PAC, Fight Back California, aims to turn seven of those Republican districts blue by spending a planned $10 million getting involved in races early, before the primary and even before candidates announce their runs. 

“You have to start working before the (candidate) filing deadline,” which isn’t until March, Tauscher told the San Francisco Chronicle. “You have to be in those districts early, talking about local people, local politics and local issues.”

Tauscher is working with political consultant Katie Merrill, who ran Tauscher’s campaigns and worked in her congressional office.

While large amounts of donor money usually flow out of California to less-Democratic states, one of Fight Back California’s goals is to keep the money at home to fight the battles that need to be fought there.

The group plans to “soften the ground” for eventual candidates by canvassing and calling voters to “disqualify the incumbent” in the coming weeks and months, with plans to stay in contact and “qualify the challenger” later in the cycle.

The PAC’s list of targets is the same as the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s seven targeted California seats, and includes several members that the committee has unsuccessfully targeted previously.

Tauscher was elected to the House in 1996 and served until 2009, when she took a job in the Obama administration’s State Department.