Presidential races

Clinton fundraising gives little to state parties: report

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Less than 1 percent of the $61 million brought in by Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton’s fundraising vehicle with state parties has stayed with the state parties, according to Politico’s analysis of the latest Federal Election Commission filings.

The Hillary Victory Fund includes Clinton’s presidential campaign, the Democratic National Committee and 32 state party committees. The fund lets Clinton receive checks of $350,000 or more from her supporters.

{mosads}When Clinton launched the fundraising vehicle last summer, she said “when our state parties are strong, we win” and that she would “rebuild our party from the ground up.”

The fund has transferred $3.8 million to the state parties, according to Politico, but $3.3 million of that cash was then transferred to the DNC. The fund has transferred $15.4 million to Clinton’s campaign and $5.7 million to the DNC.

Politico reported that $23.3 million spent by the fund has been used for expenses that reportedly directly help the Clinton campaign, such as $2.8 million for salary and overhead and $8.6 million for web advertising.

The fund has spurred concern among some state party officials. One official with a participating state party called it a “one-sided benefit.”

“The DNC has given us some guidance on what they’re saying, but it’s not clear what we should be saying,” the official said, according to Politico.

“I don’t think anyone wants to get crosswise with the national party because we do need their resources. But everyone who entered into these agreements was doing it because they were asked to, not because there are immediately clear benefits.”

Josh Schwerin, a spokesman for Clinton’s campaign, said some key state parties last month got $700,000 in transfers from the fund, though he did not detail how much of that money was then transferred to the DNC.

“About $4.5 million has already been transferred to state parties and there is an additional $9 million on hand that will be distributed over the coming months as state parties ramp up for the general election,” he said in an email.

He said in April, “money raised through the [Hillary Victory Fund] has started to be used to fund Democratic coordinated campaigns across the country, which will help strengthen the party and elect Democrats up and down the ballot.”

Rival Bernie Sanders’s campaign signed a joint fundraising agreement with the DNC last year, according to Politico, but it has not been active.

The Hillary Victory Fund distributes money based on a formula: The first $2,700 goes to the Clinton campaign, the next $33,400 goes to the DNC and the remaining funds go to state parties. After the original distribution though, the Clinton campaign determines what happens to the cash.

The Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party received $43,500 from the fund on Nov. 2 last year but then transferred the same amount to the DNC the same day, Politico reported.

Sanders ripped the Clinton-DNC fundraising earlier this year, arguing that it raises “serious apparent violations” of the campaign finance laws in a letter sent to the DNC. Sanders’s campaign manager, Jeff Weaver, said it was “unprecedented for the DNC to allow a joint committee to be exploited to the benefit of one candidate in the midst of a contested nominating contest.”

In response, Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook said the letter was “shameful” and that Sanders should “think about what he can do to help the party he is seeking to lead.”

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