Progressive PAC That Launched ‘Draft Schweitzer’ for Senate Raises Money for Snowden’s Defense

by Andrew Johnson

A left-leaning PAC that launched a campaign to draft former Montana governor Brian Schweitzer for the state’s 2014 Senate election is also supporting NSA leaker Edward Snowden.

The Progressive Change Campaign Committee is raising money for a legal defense fund for Snowden, they explain, “because ‘whistleblower’ cases are extremely expensive to litigate.” Thus far, the group claims to have raised more than $26,000 for the cause of the former NSA contractor many have deemed a traitor.

“We can’t let this hero be treated as a villian,” the group says on its website. Supporters can donate to the PCCC’s fund for Snowden on the group’s website, and once an official defense fund is established, the PCCC will transfer the money to Snowden.

Earlier this year, the PCCC also began a “Draft Brian Schweitzer for Senate” campaign leading up to next year’s election. Schweitzer, a Democrat who served as governor from 2005 to 2013, is widely expected to run for the seat Max Baucus will vacate in 2014.

On its website, the group announced it is aiming to raise $50,000 for the former Montana governor by the time he declares a run; the Billings Gazette reports the PCCC has already raised $27,000.

The group’s support could put Schweitzer in an awkward position, not least because President Obama and most Democrats have supported and defended the NSA’s surveillance program. In 2008, some speculated that Schweitzer could be a running-mate for Candidate Obama; others have hinted at a potential 2016 presidential run for the former governor.

Both Baucus and Jon Tester, Montana’s other senator, have raised concerns about the NSA’s program, and Tester introduced a bill that would require the federal government to declassify information on the program.

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