Chickens for Checkups TV Ad & Patriot Majority PAC

Was curious, so looked for info on the 527 (PAC) Patriot Majority that is up with the “Chickens for Checkups” TV ad mentioned in my earlier post on Sue Lowden.

You can glance over a summary page of the PAC on

Craig Varoga, a principal with the political consulting firm Independent Strategies and partner at Varoga & Associates, is the founder of Patriot Majority (established in October 2009). Varoga is a strategist who, among other things, managed former Iowa governor Tom Vilsack’s presidential campaign and served as national field director for retired Four Star General Wesley Clark.  During the ’90s, he served as communications director to Harry Reid and managed various campaigns including the victories of Texas Congressman Ken Bentsen (1994) and two Houston mayors.

(Sidebar:  Here is one of Patriot Majority’s web-based email campaigns titled “The Tea Party is Over” and calling on supporters to “say no to the dangerous extremism that threatens to tear our country apart.”  The page header includes a photo of an angry looking Sarah Palin.)

Here is their expenditure info as well as the list of recent (2010) donors from (with the two entities with Nevada ties in bold text):

Rank Contributor Total
1 Service Employees Intl Union Local 1199 $235,125
2 Sheet Metal Workers Union $80,000
3 Zuffa LLC $75,000
3 Newmont Mining $75,000
5 National Education Assn $40,000
6 Harrah’s Operating Co $37,500
7 Ironworkers Union $25,000
7 Teamsters Union $25,000
9 Carpenters & Joiners Union/New England $10,000
9 IBEW Local 103 $10,000
11 Eastern Massachusetts Bricklayer People’ $5,000
12 Elevator Constructors Local 4 $1,000
13 Communications Workers Of America $0

We all know who Harrah’s is.

Newmont is one of the world’s largest gold producers with active mines all over the world including here in Nevada.  They are the only gold company listed on the S&P 500. Here’s the Nevada info page on their corporate website as well as their management team.

(History:  Newmont discovered gold in Carlin, Nevada — just west of Elko — in 1962 and opened its first mill in 1965 under the name Carlin Gold Mining Company.  In 1986 they went public as Newmont with the sale of five million shares for $47.5M.  The “Carlin Trend” was the largest 20th century gold strike in North America.)

  • Rick

    Dear Ms. Crum, is there any way I can view the Sue Lowden interview from which the sound bite for the attqck ad was created? Thank you for you time. And, thanks for your informative blog.

  • Dan

    I saw the interview on TV a while back and frankly these moron at patriot majority used it totally out of context. While Lowden did say the words I took it as a statement about the way things were done in the past. As in before socialist policies began to strangle the country.

    Barter is a concept used in many places and yes I pay cash for some of my medical and yes I do in 2010 barter for a better price. I see nothing wrong with what Sue Lowden said but see everything misleading about this patriot whatever airing the add.

    Tell you right now, I am a former Union Official and have voted Democrat many times. Today, I vote for anyone but the incumbent. As an elected Union official I never took one dime from the Union or anyone else. Can’t say that much for some of the others. Both sides are equally despicable IMO and this country is being run by charlatans and people on head trips.

    I think I will vote for Sue Lowden simply because of this add and she fits my plan as she is not the incumbent, two reasons to give her my vote and all those I can influence. This Medical Bill was the last straw for me and Pinky.

    This ad is the kind of charade and misinformation being used in mainstream politics today.

    I am not now nor have been affiliated with any political party for the last two voting cycles. I pray the American people will finally see through the slow economic enslavement being force upon them by both major parties. I had some hope for the tea party folks in the beginning but the Republicans have attached themselves firmly to take advantage of the host as would some leach. After all that’s all politicians are.

    This ad is from a guy who has made his living at this sort of nonsense for many years. We need to get rid of PAC’s ASAP there is just too much money passing hands in DC. Been there, saw it and it will make any honest person sick to their stomach. Most of these people are vermin.


    That’s great info. It is interesting to note that the majority are labor unions. However, there are 2 particular companies that really stand out, especially Newmont. Looking at Newmont’s 10-k, it is evident that labor expenses substantially impact their CAS (they also have refused to pay their employees overtime in some instances). So will the labor unions receive some push back on their agendas?

    I personally believe that greater enforcement (or change) of Nevada’s labor laws could help mitigate Nevada’s unemployment rate. If companies are allowed to misclassify employees as exempt, and require employees to work more then 40 hours per week to meet labor demands, there is no incentive for them to hire people (nor are those employees represented by a union). However, with Newmont blocking that path, I would expect the opposite to occur. We’ll see.