Saturday, October 17, 2015

Is Trump Already Breaking The Law By Not Reporting His SuperPAC Haul To The FEC?


The 2016 elections is a little over a year away and candidates have already raised hundreds of millions of dollars. Just in the last 3 months-- and just the candidates for president (so not people running for Congress or for governor or for state legislatures or anything else-- raised around $150,000,000. Most of the candidates from both the completely corrupt Beltway party establishments have raised MOST of their campaign money in the for of legalized bribes. Small donors and yuuuuge donors-- as Trump explained over and over and over-- give for very different reasons. The big donors give big bucks because they want to own the candidates and make sure their own special interests are super-served. Does that sound like bribery to you?

As you can see from the chart above, only 5 candidates-- Bernie (77%), Trump (71%), Carson (60%), Huckabee (59%) and Rand Paul (51%) got over half their campaign funds from small donations of $200 or less. (At Blue America, $200 is a big donation, by the way.) Bernie Sanders raised over $18 million of his $26 million haul this quarter through ActBlue, where the average contribution is in the $3-$40 range. But the two 100% establishment candidates-- the two Wall Street is backing-- both raised relatively little money from normal people. Jeb Bush took in over $13 million and only 7% came from small donors ($877,000). The Democratic Party's version of Jeb, Hillary Clinton, took in even more money (nearly $30 million, the most of any candidate in either party), and only 17.6% came from small donors. This is how that looks on a pie-chart comparing Bernie donors and Hillary donors:

Let's take a look at who the biggest bribers are to the campaigns of the two Establishment candidates. These numbers don't count the immense sums-- in Jeb's case, far more than to his own campaign-- that are coming in to the two candidates' SuperPACs. Jeb's biggest SuperPAC, Right to Rise, scooped up $103,167,846. Hillary's biggest SuperPAC, Priorities USA Action, raised $15,654,458. (Ted Cruz, who I think will be the last man standing in the GOP field has raised far more money through his various SuperPACs-- $38.7 million total-- than through his own campaign committee.)

Sanders is dominating all other candidates among small donors, which could give him a marked advantage as the primary continues. Almost three-quarters of his haul this quarter came from donors giving $200 or less, and the campaign told the Huffington Post that only 270 of his nearly 700,000 donors-- less than half of one percent-- have given the maximum individual contribution of $2,700 for the primary. That means that Sanders can go back to his donor base repeatedly as the race progresses.

Only 17 percent of Clinton’s contributions were from small donors. According to Politico, more than half of her take last quarter was from donors who are now maxed out and can’t give again until the general election gets underway.
Kennedy Elliott took a look at who the megadonors are so far this cycle, with neither the Adelsons nor the Kochs having come in yet with their billion-plus dollars they admit they plan to spend. These are the worst of the plutocrats, sworn enemies of democracy, trying to buy the election.
The Wilks family ($15 million to Ted Cruz)
Robert McNair of Renaissance Technologies ($11 million to Cruz)
Toby Neugebauer ($10 million to Cruz)
Kelcy Warren of Energy Transfer Partners ($6 million to Rick Perry)
Darwin Deason ($5 million to Rick Perry)
Diane Hendricks ($5 million to Scott Walker)
Joe & Marlene Ricketts ($5 million to Walker)
Norman Braiman ($5 million to Marco Rubio)
Fernandez family ($3.1 million to Jeb)
Larry Ellison of Oracle ($3 million to Rubio)
Ronald Cameron of Mountainaire Corp. ($3 million to Huckabee)
Besilu Stables ($2.5 million to Rubio)
Ray & Nancy Hunt ($2 million to Jeb)
Rooney Holdings, Inc ($2 million to Jeb)
Trevor Rees-Jones of Chief Oil & Gas ($2 million to Jeb)
Laura Perlmutter ($2 million to Rubio)
Haim & Cheryl Saban ($2 million to Hillary)
Steven & Alexandra Cohen ($2 million to Chris Christie)
Perenchio family of Chartwell Partners ($1.7 million to Fiorina)
37 other people-- who need to be slapped with a hefty wealth-tax-- gave a million or more, 19 to Jeb and 8 to Hillary... but even losers like Kasich, Jindal and Rand Paul had donors wasting a million dollars each on them.

So what about Mr. Self-Funding billionaire Donald Trump? Not really self-funding yet, at least not much, and nothing like the $100 million he said he was going to spend. More of his empty braggadocio? So far he's spending money his website solicits from the idiots to are looking for something absurd to waste their money on. He put in less than $2 million of his own and spent a little over double that this quarter ($678,000 of it on swag-- hats, t-shirts, piñatas). He seems to be spending a lot of lawyers, consultants, telemarketing and direct-mail firms. event producers, web designers and security services. And of course, on various Trump profit centers "such as the Trump Corporation ($45,000 for rent), Trump Restaurants ($2,185), a Trump Hotel ($1,138), and 'in kind' payments for items from Trump Tower, Trump Payroll Corporation and Donald J. Trump himself." Matea Gold reported in the Washington Post that "Trump’s biggest expenses appear to be the renting out large venues to host elaborate events that attract thousands." AP, on the other hand, reported that "the largest expense-- $723,000-- went to TAG Air, a Trump-owned company that controls his private jet."

MSNBC's Katy Tur reported: "'To be No. 1 in every poll,' he said in a statement Thursday, 'and to have spent the least amount of dollars of any serious candidate is a testament to what I can do for America.' Trump said he initially planned a 'substantially higher' initial budget, but 'good business practices' have kept costs in check. He has previously cited his extensive media attention as another reason not to waste money on ads, telling supporters in Waterloo, Iowa, last week that running TV ads now would make people 'O.D. on Trump.'" Many are anyway.
The filings also reveal new facts about the timeline for Trump’s operation. While the billionaire candidate has been a constant media presence, he has not actually directed any of his own money to the campaign in the past four months. The last time Trump personally funded the campaign was in June, with a $1,081,647 interest-free loan. When he began funding the campaign in April, he allotted a modest $292,650 through two loans, and his only other loan was $430,540 in May.

That’s a contrast to self-funding candidates who have come before, like Mitt Romney, Steve Forbes and Ross Perot, each of whom swiftly invested tens of millions of dollars into their presidential campaigns.

Some Republican operatives say the Trump campaign’s financial picture, revealed in the new filing, begs larger questions about Trump’s intent.

“We don’t know if Donald Trump is willing to open his pocketbook,” says former Romney deputy campaign manager Kate Packer, until he “demonstrates he’s willing to actually spend significant dollars.”

“Just because someone’s rich,” she told NBC, “doesn’t mean they’re completely liquid, and it also doesn’t mean that they’re willing to write a blank check to support their campaign. So we just don’t know.”

But what we do know is that, despite his claims to the contrary-- typical Trumpian lies-- he does have a SuperPAC (the Make America Great Again SuperPAC) and that he is-- or was-- raising money for it. Personal friends and business relations have been pressured into writing big checks. His daughter Ivanka's husband's dad-- Trump crony and campaign finance fraud criminal Charles Kushner-- had a fundraiser for the PAC at his Jersey Shore mansion after he was released from prison and Trump attended. Kushner, a billionaire real estate developer, got the ball rolling with a $100,000 check. But the SuperPAC didn't report to the FEC which is... shady or, at least, irregular. So no one actually knows how much Trump has or has spent because the SuperPAC isn't saying. I don't know how he gets away with it-- or why not one of the mainstream media outlets that reported on him yesterday even bothered to mention there's a key missing report. I guess he'll have them report when he's damn ready. It couldn't be a mistake because we all know he only hires the best and the brightest, right? (By the way, you can contribute to stopping Trump from becoming president here.)

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