The Clinton campaign has been attacking Sanders for not raising any money for down-ballot democrats. However, has anyone asked if the Clinton campaign is actually raising money for down-ballot democrats?
The Hillary Victory Fund is taking advantage of a loophole in campaign finance law after the McCutcheon vs FEC decision allowing a couple to donate up to $1.320 million PER election ($660,000 per year). The limit a person can give to a candidate is only $2,700 per election, however by bundling their fundraising with 33 state parties and the DNC the Clinton campaign is able to raise a much more substantial amount.
Clinton fundraising leaves little for state parties; The Democratic front-runner says she’s raising big checks to help state committees, but they’ve gotten to keep only 1 percent of the $60 million raised.
In the days before Hillary Clinton launched an unprecedented big-money fundraising vehicle with state parties last summer, she vowed “to rebuild our party from the ground up,” proclaiming “when our state parties are strong, we win. That’s what will happen.”
But less than 1 percent of the $61 million raised by that effort has stayed in the state parties’ coffers, according to a POLITICO analysis of the latest Federal Election Commission filings.
The victory fund has transferred $3.8 million to the state parties, but almost all of that cash ($3.3 million, or 88 percent) was quickly transferred to the DNC, usually within a day or two, by the Clinton staffer who controls the committee, POLITICO’s analysis of the FEC records found.
By contrast, the victory fund has transferred $15.4 million to Clinton’s campaign and $5.7 million to the DNC, which will work closely with Clinton’s campaign if and when she becomes the party’s nominee. And most of the $23.3 million spent directly by the victory fund has gone toward expenses that appear to have directly benefited Clinton’s campaign, including $2.8 million for “salary and overhead” and $8.6 million for web advertising that mostly looks indistinguishable from Clinton campaign ads and that has helped Clinton build a network of small donors who will be critical in a general election expected to cost each side well in excess of $1 billion.
The title for the above article is misleading:
“A record 32 state parties signed on to the fund, allowing the committee to solicit donations 130 times greater than what a supporter can give to Clinton’s campaign for the primary.
But the states have yet to see a financial windfall. Meanwhile, Clinton’s campaign has been a major beneficiary, getting an infusion of low-dollar contributions through the committee at a time when rival Bernie Sanders’s army of small donors is helping him close in on her financially. The fund is run by Clinton campaign staff, and its treasurer is Clinton’s chief operating officer.
Clinton officials said their use of the fund is proper and that the state parties will benefit from the millions of dollars the joint fundraising committee is generating for the DNC, which provides the infrastructure to support Democratic campaigns across the country.
So far, the state parties have served only as a pass-through for their share of the funds. Campaign finance records show that nearly $2 million in donations to the fund initially routed last year to individual state party accounts was immediately transferred to the DNC, which is laboring to pay off millions of dollars in debt.”
Note the dissent even underestimated the total given per campaign by $120,000 ($1.2 million vs $1.320 million as the counterpunch article mentions).
“The two major political parties each have three national committees. Ante, at 4, n. 1. Federal law also entitles an individual to give $20,000 to a state party committee over two years. §441a(a)(1)(D). Each major political party has 50 such committees. Those individual limits mean that, in the absence of any aggregate limit, an individual could legally give to the Republican Party or to the Democratic Party about $1.2 million over two years. See Appendix B, Table 1, infra, at 39. To make it easier for contributors to give gifts of this size, each party could create a “Joint Party Committee,” comprising all of its national and state party committees. The titular heads could be the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Minority Leader of the House. A contributor could then write a single check to the Joint Party Committee–and its staff would divide the funds so that each constituent unit receives no more than it could obtain from the contributor directly ($64,800 for a national committee over two years, $20,000 for a state committee over the same). Before today’s decision, the total size of Rich Donor’s check to the Joint Party Committee was capped at $74,600–the aggregate limit for donations to political parties over a 2-year election cycle. See §441a(a)(3)(B); 78 Fed. Reg. 8532. After today’s decision, Rich Donor can write a single check to the Joint Party Committee in an amount of about $1.2 million.”