Tuesday, August 02, 2016

bruce wilder 08.03.16 at 1:08 am

Layman @ 79

I am not interested in a prolonged back and forth, but I will lay out a bare outline of facts. I do not find much support for your characterization of these arrangements, which give new meaning to the fungibility of funds. I think it is fair and accurate to describe the HVF transfer arrangements as a means of circumventing campaign financing limits and using the State parties to subsidize the Clinton campaign. Court rulings have made aggregate fund raising legal and invites this means of circumventing the $2700 limit on individual Presidential campaign donations. Whether the circumvention is legal — whether it violates the law to invite nominal contributions to State Parties of $10,000 and channel those contributions wholly to operations in support of Clinton, while leaving nothing in State Party coffers is actually illegal, I couldn’t say; it certainly violates the norms of a putative joint fundraising effort. It wasn’t hard for POLITICO to find State officials who said as much. The rest of this comment quotes POLITICO reports dated July 2016.

Hillary Victory Fund, which now includes 40 state Democratic Party committees, theoretically could accept checks as large as $436,100 — based on the individual limits of $10,000 per state party, $33,400 for the DNC, and $2,700 for Clinton’s campaign.

Between the creation of the victory fund in September and the end of [June], the fund had brought in $142 million, . . . 44 percent [to] DNC ($24.4 million) and Hillary for America ($37.6 million), . . . state parties have kept less than $800,000 of all the cash brought in by the committee — or only 0.56 percent.

. . . state parties have received $7.7 million in transfers, but within a few days of most transfers, almost all of the cash — $6.9 million — was transferred to the DNC . . .

The only date on which most state parties received money from the victory fund and didn’t pass any of it on to the DNC was May 2, the same day that POLITICO published an article exposing the arrangement.

Beyond the transfers, much of the fund’s $42 million in direct spending also appears to have been done to directly benefit the Clinton campaign, as opposed to the state parties.

The fund has paid $4.1 million to the Clinton campaign for “salary and overhead expenses” to reimburse it for fundraising efforts. And it has directed $38 million to vendors such as direct marketing company Chapman Cubine Adams + Hussey and digital consultant Bully Pulpit Interactive — both of which also serve the Clinton campaign — for mailings and online ads that sometimes closely resemble Clinton campaign materials.

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