WASHINGTON - A nonpartisan super PAC created to defeat Donald Trump will unveil on Wednesday an ambitious undertaking: a nationwide coalition of Democratic state and local politicians to conduct rapid-response attacks on the presumptive Republican presidential candidate.
Long Island businessman Jon Cooper and the other directors of the Keep America Great super PAC, set up to stop Trump without supporting his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, said they have created a “grassroots network” called the Democratic Coalition Against Trump.
According to a list Cooper provided, the 50-state coalition’s members include state representatives and senators, party leaders of the Democratic parties in New Mexico, and North Dakota, and political players such as Massachusetts’ Steve Kerrigan, who was CEO of the Democratic National Convention in 2012.
The Democratic coalition appears to run against the grain of a nonpartisan PAC that aims to raise money from Trump opponents of all stripes – disaffected Republicans, wary Independents, Clinton backers and Bernie Sanders supporters. But Cooper said it was a logical move.
“Right now the coalition is progressively minded, so it made sense to have it Democratic-based,” said Cooper, the PAC’s chairman.
“However, we have been approached by Republicans who’ve asked to join the Keep America Great PAC, which is nonpartisan,” he said, but he added the PAC will hold off on deciding whether to include them until after the GOP convention.
The coalition aims to immediately react to Trump’s blunt and often provocative rhetoric.
“Let’s say that Trump makes his next ridiculous statement about Latinos or Muslims, We would dispatch our state chairs and other coalition members to do commentary on local TV and radio stations and with print media based on talking points we provide, as well as advice and guidance we give,” Cooper said.
“Lots of these folks have their own press contacts, since they are current or former elected officials, party leaders, past candidates for office or at least campaigned for Democratic candidates,” he said.
“We’ll also be building a grassroots, people-powered anti-Trump movement in each state with members under each chair. We will then use the grassroots movement to register voters and knock on doors,” he said.
Cooper, president of Spectronics Corp. in Westbury and a former Suffolk County legislator, said he is in strategy meeting with other PAC directors in Washington Wednesday.
The PAC has yet to report raising any money. Cooper said most of the money raised so far has been online and that the PAC plans to begin donor recruitment by the end of this week.
He also teased two future fundraisers.
“Keep America Great is in the process of forming two groups of A-list celebrities who will be doing fundraising events for us,” he said. “One will be called ‘Hollywood Against Trump’ and the other will be ‘Broadway Against Trump.’”