Rise of super PACs hasn’t eroded relevance of state parties, leaders say

    As political campaigns change with the growth of super PACs, statewide party organizations haven’t lost their relevance, because they have a history in the community, LaGOP Executive Director Jason Doré told a meeting of the Baton Rouge Press Club this afternoon.

    Doré and his Democratic counterpart, state Sen. Karen Carter Peterson, chairwoman of the Louisiana Democratic Party, took turns espousing reasons voters should cast ballots in their party’s favor this Saturday, when voters will weigh in on runoff elections and local ballot measures.

    Super PACs can’t take the place of grassroots campaigns spearheaded by the parties to build voter support, Doré said, “but they have made fundraising more of a challenge.” Doré said he wished the more lenient fundraising rules that govern super PACs would also apply to party spending and revenue raising.

    Peterson agreed with Doré that candidates still need state parties—“We build infrastructure, that’s what we do,” she said—but similarities between the two ended there. Both party leaders attested that their party better represented the wants and needs of Louisiana citizens. Doré said his party supports the economy, values life and puts children’s needs in the classroom over teachers unions.

    Peterson said it has been Democrats, not Republicans, who have pushed for equal pay for women, a higher minimum wage and Medicaid expansion, which Peterson said exit polling shows are desired by most Louisianans. —Kelly Connelly

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