President Biden and his advisers are elevating a new outside group as the leading super PAC to help him get re-elected in 2024, making it the premier destination for big cash from billionaires and billionaires who support him.
The group’s boon, Future Forward, is a changing of the guard in the important world of big-money Democratic politics. Since the 2012 election, a different group, Priorities USA, has been the leading super PAC for Democratic presidential candidates.
“In 2020, when they really came out of nowhere and started running ads, the Biden campaign was blown away by the effectiveness of the ads and the rigorous overall testing that had clearly gone into the entire project,” Anita Dunn, senior counsel at the White House for Mr. Biden, said Future Forward. The group, she added, “truly earned its place as the preeminent super PAC supporting the Biden-Harris agenda and 2024 efforts.”
On Friday, the Biden campaign also announced a combined fundraising total of more than $72 million for the second quarter along with the Democratic National Committee and its joint fundraising committee, a figure far higher than what Donald J. .Trump. Future Forward has raised $50 million so far this year, the group said.
Federal candidates cannot legally coordinate campaign strategy with super PACs, but officials from both parties have singled out their preferred entities for a decade. Super PACs can accept donations of unlimited size, unlike federal candidates, who must meet contribution limits.
Future Forward, which is run by Chauncey McLean, a former official in Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns, has kept a remarkably low profile for a super PAC that, along with an affiliated nonprofit arm, has raised nearly $400 million in the past few years. last five years.
the group maintains a sparse website. Mr. McLean said that Future Forward had never sent out a press release promoting its activity, which has included the production of more than 400 advertisements.
“We keep a low profile because we’re just not the story, we’re just not important,” McLean said in a rare interview. “I just don’t see any reason to stick my head out. That will not change”.
The super PAC spent more than $130 million on what are known as independent spending announcements in the 2020 race between Biden and Donald J. Trump. He also spent heavily in the midterms in three crucial battlegrounds: Arizona, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
Seattle-based Mr. McLean said the group planned to run “the largest presidential IE in history” and that their fundraising goal was to collect “as much as humanly possible.”
Ms. Dunn served as a consultant to Future Forward after Biden’s inauguration, according to her personal financial disclosure form. She said she saw a key role in 2024 for other super PACs, including American Bridge, the party’s clearinghouse for opposition research, which also runs TV ads.
Ms. Dunn and other White House officials have attended American Bridge donor conferences this year. Priorities USA’s departure has been telegraphed to donors for months, dating back to before the group’s leader, Guy Cecil, announced in March that he was leaving. This spring, Priorities announced a goal to spend $74 million on digital advertising by 2024.
In a statement, Jennifer O’Malley Dillon, the White House deputy chief of staff and Biden’s 2020 campaign manager, said Future Forward had been “critical” in 2020 and would “play a key role again” in 2024.
Unlike super PACs supporting Republican presidential candidates that have created organizations on the ground in early presidential nominating states, Future Forward will have a limited focus on “research and publicity,” McLean said.
Mr. Biden will send Katie Petrelius, his 2020 campaign finance director and most recently a White House aide, to Future Forward to help the group raise money.
There are no immediate plans for Mr. Biden to headline any fundraising events for the super PAC, but Ms. Dunn said such meetings could happen in the future.
Biden, like many Democrats in the party’s crowded 2020 presidential primaries, initially resisted calling for the support of a super PAC, but backed down in the fall of 2019, when his campaign was strapped for cash and needed more of a presence on the airwaves. radio. (“To speak to the middle class, we must reject the super PAC system,” Mr. Biden had said that April.)
Both super PACs and nonprofit groups can accept unlimited donations, but only super PACs are required to disclose the names of their contributors. Future Forward’s largest disclosed contributor has been Dustin Moskovitz, co-founder of Facebook, who has donated more than $50 million to the group since 2020.
The group also received millions of dollars from Stephen F. Mandel Jr., a Connecticut hedge fund manager; Karla Jurvetson, California philanthropist; Eric Schmidt, former Google executive; and Sam Bankman-Fried, the disgraced founder of the cryptocurrency exchange, who donated $5 million in October 2020.
Mr McLean said Future Forward would be “returning any money associated with” Mr Bankman-Fried. The group said it had also received $1.65 million from Bankman-Fried in its nonprofit arm.