Reddit TestPAC raises nearly $10,000 to unseat SOPA author

Reddit's homegrown political action committee will use the funds to run attack ads against Texas Representative Lamar Smith. 


Kevin Collier


Published May 7, 2012   Updated Jun 2, 2021, 5:31 pm CDT

Reddit’s TestPAC, a fundraising vehicle for users to keep Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX) from getting reelected, tried to raise $5,000 this weekend. “5K on 5May,” they called it.

It didn’t go exactly as planned. The group ended up with almost $10,000.

TestPAC’s eventual goal is one many Internet users would agree with: to unseat Smith, the author of the infamous Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). That would send a message to Congress, its creators say, that legislators should be wary of incurring the Internet’s wrath.

The group’s Cinco de Mayo goal was to get the financial means run their latest video as a TV spot in Smith’s 21st District of Texas. It’s a simple, graphically smooth attack ad that calls out Smith for catering to Hollywood interests—the Motion Picture Association of America was one of SOPA’s biggest supporters—instead of those of Texans.

5K on 5May happened in the real world, too. In what TestPAC’s blog called the “launch of our field campaign,” 10 redditors from as far as 12 hours away came to Kerrville, Texas, Lamar’s district, to hand out flyers, put out signs, and talk with people directly.

The group plans to do this every weekend in May—until the Texas Republican Primary election on May 29.

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*First Published: May 7, 2012, 2:31 pm CDT