As she heads into the heart of her first re-election campaign, Rep. Katie Porter of Irvine is quickly becoming a power broker in the House of Representatives.
She’s a Democrat in a flip district that still leans slightly red. But Porter is confident enough in her re-election chances that she’s announced the launch of her own “leadership PAC,” a political action committee that lets her raise and spend money separate from her own campaign fund, including for candidates other than herself.
These PACs have drawn criticism from ethics watchdogs and others over the years because they have fewer restrictions and less oversight than campaign funds. A majority of House Democrats and Republicans have them anyway, though many launch them quietly. And they’re less common among freshman members in potentially competitive races, such as Porter’s 45th District seat.
But through her leadership PAC, Porter can leverage her rising national profile and solid fundraising chops to help elect other progressive candidates who are facing tough races across the country. That, in turn, could mean more friends — and power — along the way.