CONCORD — A new “hybrid PAC” announced today by New Hampshire liberty movement conservatives Aaron Day and Matt Philips intends to focus initially on supporting Andrew Hemingway for governor and like-minded candidates for the state Senate, but has its eyes on a bigger prize.
The Stark360 PAC also intends to be a player in the 2016 first-in-the-nation presidential primary campaign and “transform the Republican Party into a party of liberty that embraces the millennial generation.”
The PAC is taking unlimited contributions for its independent expenditure activities, and according to Day and Philips, “In addition to accepting cash, Stark360 will also accept contributions in Bitcoin — a new decentralized, digital form of currency free of external government interference.”
As for its goal, here is how Day put it in his news release:
“Crushing debt, unfunded entitlements, the government takeover of healthcare, overregulation, the decaying of our public schools, and massive government intrusion into our private lives are a direct assault on our liberty and individual rights.
“What if we could prove that liberty works? What if we could transform the Republican Party into a party of liberty that embraces the millennial generation? What if we could break the cycle of failed Republican candidates who support the expansion of the welfare state and position the country for a Goldwater/Reagan Republican in 2016?”
The PAC first wants to elect “the first pro-liberty, millennial governor (Andrew Hemingway)” and “win a pro-liberty majority for the Republicans in our 424 person state Legislature.”
Day is chair of the Republican Liberty Caucus of New Hampshire, which has endorsed 12 GOP candidates for the state Senate, including five who are taking on sitting GOP Senators in primaries. Hemingway is former chair of the RLCNH.
Stark360 proposes “a statewide, data-driven grassroots campaign that will endure beyond 2014 and address a fundamental structural weakness of the Republican Party,” and then “position New Hampshire to elect a Liberty Republican candidate in our crucial 2016 first-in-the-nation primary.”
“New Hampshire is the single best investment to demonstrate and spread liberty throughout the rest of the country through New Hampshire’s critical first-in-the-nation primary status,” said Philips.
“The people of New Hampshire inherently embrace liberty” and in the state, “elected officials are accountable,” he and Day said.
Quoting former Gov. John H. Sununu that, “Iowa picks corn; New Hampshire picks Presidents,” Day said that in recent primaries the state has actually picked “losing presidential candidates.”
“A small, elite group of the New Hampshire Republican establishment, corrupted by D.C. interest groups, has disenfranchised New Hampshire voters, alienated the youth vote, and manipulated party rules for personal advantage. In particular, the treatment of Ron Paul in New Hampshire and the egregious manipulation of the rules aimed at harming Ron Paul delegates in the 2012 Presidential race, needs to end now. Our data-driven grassroots infrastructure will restore the Republican Party back to the liberty loving citizens of New Hampshire and serve as a model for the rest of the nation,” Day said in a statement.
As for the structure of Stark360, hybrid PACs are on the rise.
Day said his PAC has two separate bank accounts, one for the unlimited super PAC contributions and one for the traditional PAC. All contributions and expenditures are disclosed. He said the PAC would make direct contributions to candidates under required state and federal limits, while the super PAC would make unlimited independent expenditures.
Day said Stark360 PAC has filed a registration form with the New Hampshire Secretary of State’s Office. He was initially unaware of a New Hampshire requirement that a New Hampshire-registered PAC must have a New Hampshire-based treasurer or agent, but later told the New Hampshire Journal that Philips, who is a New Hampshire resident, was named the New Hampshire agent.
Day said PAC advisor and treasurer Dan Backer “scrutinizes” all activities and all transactions of the PAC.
Backer is the winning lead attorney in the landmark McCutcheon Vs. Federal Election Commission decision by the U.S. Supreme Court earlier this year, which struck down aggregate limits on the amount an individual may contribute during a two-year period to all federal candidates, parties and political action committees combined. By a vote of 5-4, the court ruled that the biennial aggregate limits are unconstitutional under the First Amendment.
Politically, said Day that while the PAC is “oriented toward people who support liberty” in the state,” it will attract support not only from Granite Staters but from across the country because of the importance of the first-in-the-nation primary.
He said that while the PAC founders see “Hemingway leading the charge” in New Hampshire, they will also focus on legislative races – particularly in certain state Senate primary contests – and even attempt to secure more members on the Republican State Committee.
“There is a glaring problem with the Republican Party,” in terms of “technology infrastructure, said Day.
“We were crushed in 2012 by the Obama campaign” technology, said Day. “The tools deployed by the NHGOP don’t work. We will make sure we leverage social media and data to build a grassroots effort and making the most of having intelligent data.”