Yesterday, the Arkansas Democrat Gazette reported that Mike Huckabee is working hard to hold on to the influence he gained during the Republican primary via his political action committee, Huck PAC. Unfortunately, Huckabee’s popularity with grassroots conservatives has not necessarily been translating into significant funding, and so Huck PAC is focusing, at the moment, on building up an army of volunteers:
The former Arkansas governor and presidential candidate this week will boost his political action committee’s effort to string together a nationwide web of grass-roots organizers.
That network, with foundation-laying parties set for more than 120 homes Thursday night, is meant to push conservative causes forward and to fight much of the work supported by a similar – and larger – coalition topped by President Barack Obama.
Looking ahead, Huckabee’s outfit appears ready to focus less on dollar signs than on door knockers. During his presidential run, Huckabee surprised the political world by stretching his low-budget campaign into a second-place showing, with much of his support swelling up from evangelical Christians and those who favor a national sales tax.
So far, that combination of light wallets and devout followers seems to be propping up Huck PAC.
The PAC has been outpaced both in fundraising and in direct candidate support by that of Romney … Romney’s Free and Strong America PAC, begun roughly at the same time as Huckabee’s, spread more than $230,000 to 80 congressional candidates last year. Huckabee spent about $49,000 to support political causes last year, including 30 candidates ranging from Republican presidential nominee John McCain to an Iowa state legislative hopeful.
Given his relatively small fundraising totals, perhaps what Huckabee needs to generate some cash for his PAC is some new controversial issue he can start hammering away on in order to scare up donations, kind of like he tried to do a few weeks ago with the stimulus bill.
Maybe something like the Freedom of Choice Act … and as Marc Ambinder reports, that seems to be exactly what he’s doing:
Ex-AR Gov. Mike Huckabee has recorded an automated telephone call warning pro-lifers that Democrats and President Obama plan to eliminate all state and federal laws restricting abortion. The calls have been reported in Virginia and Washington State. The caller identification traces the origin of the recording to a Northern Virginia telephone number, 703-263-0488; that number is used by FiSERV, Inc. an automated call center used by conservative groups. Huckabee’s statement refers to the Freedom of Choice Act, which President Obama has promised to sign into law, although it has not yet been introduced in the new Congress. Proponents say the law would simply codify the regime that Roe v. Wade allows and would reduce abortions; opponents insist that it’s not constitutional and would effectively reduce the latitude that states have to restrict abortion. A spokesperson for Huckabee’s PAC did not return an e-mail seeking comment.
You’ve got to hand it to Huckabee; for all his talk of bringing a new message to the Republican Party, he sure does have a knack for trotting out the standard right-wing tropes whenever he needs to raise some money or remind everyone that he is still around.
Update: We have been informed by FiSERV that they were not the originator of this call:
In fact, Fiserv was not the originator of those calls, nor are we an automated call center or a telemarketer. Fiserv is the leading technology company for the financial services industry.
We operated a data center in Virginia using that number for incoming calls, but last year we sold that business, and no longer own that number. When we contacted the phone carrier about why our name was still on the caller ID, they said the number is now used by ccAdvertising, who may be conducting the Robocalls. The carrier is working to remove the Fiserv name, as it is not correct.