They’re putting gold behind gold.
A new group inspired by Ted Cruz’s plan to tie the U.S dollar to a unit of solid gold is planning to spend up to $1 million to back his hopes in New Hampshire, a well-financed push meant to elevate him to first-tier status there on the appeal of an offbeat issue.
The Lone Star Committee, a new organization filed under section 527 of the tax code, is planning to flood the Granite State airwaves with radio ads highlighting Cruz’s plans for a sound dollar.
Given that Cruz’s biggest financial supporters have been slow to sink resources into New Hampshire, Lone Star’s investment is shaping up to be the biggest play yet by Cruz forces to perform well in a state that might not naturally be drawn to a tea party renegade.
The new tax-exempt group plans to broadcast only issue spots, steering clear of more overt language used by super PACs to directly back their candidate or, more commonly, attack their rivals.
“We see ourselves as waging the idea battle on economics, at least to Republican primary voters,” said Rich Danker, the GOP strategist behind the group who believes monetary policy matters to voters. “It’s overrated how much how they drift toward personality. At the end of the day, it’s really where the candidates are on policy.”
The wonky outside spenders are the latest addition to the fold of overlapping, at times diverging, groups trying to spend big money to support Cruz independently. But it is the first Cruz group dedicated to issue spending, which several presidential candidates have used to give an extra boost to their primary bids.
The group does not appear to have the blessing of the Cruz campaign in Houston, which Danker said he has had no contact with since launching.
“They would probably be most comfortable not having to worry about what I’m doing,” said Danker, explaining why he didn’t seek the permission of Cruz aides. “I wanted to sort of do things that would lead the campaign in the direction of emphasizing their economic message and showing them it can work.”
The Cruz campaign did not respond to requests for comment.
But the founders are no strangers to Cruz circles. Danker met privately with Cruz for an hour last year when managing the New Jersey Senate race of Republican Jeff Bell, and he is a close associate of Sean Rushton, Cruz’s top economic adviser, who Danker says inspired him to set up a group like Lone Star.
The group, which Danker said raised about $100,000 in the first week, is budgeting toward a $1 million buy focused almost entirely in New Hampshire, where Cruz has climbed but still remains solidly behind Donald Trump, who has led polls there for months. It’s hired a North Carolina fundraiser, Jay Rao, to collect big checks. And they’re planning to have a rapid-response arm dedicated to what they say will be feverish attacks on Cruz’s contentious backing of the gold-tied dollar.
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