Super PAC formed to boost Hatch re-election campaign

Published: Wednesday, Sept. 21 2011 2:02 p.m. MDT

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and other Republican senators call for President Obama to kick start a dormant U.S. trade agenda that could allow agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2011.

Associated Press

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SALT LAKE CITY — Sen. Orrin Hatch will have the support of a new political action committee for his re-election bid.

Organizers of the Strong Utah PAC say it was created to counter efforts to unseat the longtime Republican senator.

“This super PAC has been organized to respond to the outside special interest groups such as FreedomWorks who are trying to buy the election with their handpicked candidates,” said founder Kelly Casaday.

A spokesman for FreedomWorks says the new PAC continues an outside-special-interest smear campaign against the organization based in Washington, D.C.

Federal Election Committee reports show Hatch has raised considerably more money in Washington than in Utah, according to Michael Duncan, FreedomWorks marketing director. "Apparently, outside special interests are fine when the contributions make their way into Hatch's campaign coffers," he said.

The new PAC is separate from and has no relation to the Hatch Reelection Campaign Committee. According to a news release, Strong Utah PAC will independently research a produce campaign materials including television and radio commercials, website and Web advertising, direct mail and brochures. It also will provide comparisons between Hatch and potential challengers in the 2012 election.

An appeals court ruled last year that individuals and corporations have a right to make unlimited expenditures to influence elections. The Federal Election Committee  implemented that ruling by allowing the formation of super PACs, which can accept unlimited funds from unlimited sources.

Dennis Romboy Twitter: dennisromboy

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