While Republican leaders continue to talk – and talk – about how best to update the party’s hard-line image, one of the country’s most prominent conservative outside groups is ready to put real money into the effort. The American Action Network is poised to launch a major advocacy campaign aimed at winning support for immigration reform on the right – the first significant effort within the Republican coalition to create an atmosphere in which it is safe for GOP lawmakers to support an immigration bill. AAN officials described the campaign in detail to POLITICO, outlining how the organization aims to drum up support for both immigration legislation and Republican budget proposals in the coming months. The nonprofit group and an affiliated super PAC, the Congressional Leadership Fund, spent a combined $55 million on advocacy and electioneering in 2011 and 2012, officials said. With $44 million of that total coming from AAN – a number that hasn’t previously been shared – the group can expect to have substantial resources for its policy messaging going forward.
Politico: Republican group readies immigration blitz
The Packer: Ag leaders argue for new guest worker program