A Silicon Valley startup is looking to spark a political fight in our backyard.
U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-Pa.) has been dogged by legal troubles for the past eight years — the feds appear to be building a corruption case against him — but the 11-term congressman hasn’t had any problems getting re-elected. Fattah hasn’t faced a close race since he was elected to Congress more than two decades ago. Now, a venture-backed startup called Crowdpac is looking to stir the pot, the Daily News reported.
Crowdpac created a site that names 18 potential Fattah challengers for next year’s primary. It’s the big feature on Crowdpac’s site: “If Congressman Fattah gets boxed out, which candidates will rebound?” it reads.
Users can vote and show their support for any candidate on the site. They can also donate money to a potential campaign. Kind of like how Kickstarter doesn’t release the money until a campaign reaches its goal, Crowdpac will only release the money if a candidate declares his or her candidacy.
The Daily News’ Will Bender explained why Crowdpac’s tactic is so crafty:
Crowdpac created the candidate field for the Fattah race, but soon anyone will be able to create a page and add candidates, similar to the way Wikipedia works.
“Anyone can stir s— up,” [Crowdpac political director Liz] Jaff said.
Potential candidates cannot remove their names from the pages. That’s by design: It provides them cover from party bosses and other political figures who otherwise might snuff out any competition to incumbents like Fattah.
Political machines typically don’t like competition. This is a way around the machine.
Political director, Liz Jaff, was in town for the May primary, according to a Crowdpac spokeswoman. Jaff is based in Washington, D.C.
— Liz Jaff (@lizjaff) June 3, 2015
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