The Tea Party-linked conservative group FreedomWorks will create a Super PAC with the goal of raising $20 million during the 2012 election cycle, exploiting shifts in campaign law that permit independent groups to collect and spend unlimited amounts of money advocating for and against candidates.
But in a twist, the new group will raise its money in small-dollar increments from grass-roots donors, officials at the group said Friday, and it will spend its money almost entirely on grass-roots organizing and getting Tea Partiers and other fiscal conservatives to the ballot booth.
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Most of the existing Super PACs, whether Democratic- or Republican-leaning, have raised their money from small groups of wealthy donors writing large checks. And since 2010, that money has financed barrages of negative advertising, much of it directed at Democrats by conservative groups that have significantly outgunned their liberal counterparts. The leading Republican-oriented Super PAC, Crossroads, founded by Karl Rove and other seasoned Republican hands, hopes to raise as much as $240 million by the end of 2012.