Sunday, February 21, 2016

Who's Paying For These Filthy Campaigns?


If you obsessively follow the money trail in politics and the Open Secrets 2016 presidential race page is a regular stop, you noticed that in the last week, Hillary displaced Jeb as the top fundraiser of the cycle. She and her SuperPACs are now at $163,672,986-- surpassing his $150,284,096. Interestingly, she raised just under $15 million in January-- to Bernie's $21 million. Her Priorities USA superPAC brought in another $9.6 million, $3 million of it from one hedge fund billionaire, James Simons, a major Chuck Schumer/Steve Israel financier. Millions more came from Chicago criminals from the Pritzker family and from the founder of Slim-Fast, Daniel Abraham.

Now that Jeb's dropped out, the top-financed Republicano is Ted Cruz. He's taken in just over $89.6 million. GOP Establishment darling, Marco Rubio, has taken in $61.5 million. (And for those counting, Bernie is at $75.1 million.) The latest FEC reporting deadline, for January, was last night. Herr Trumpf lent his campaign another $5 million in January, bringing his total investment in buying the White House to something under $18 million. (Before last night's report, Herr Trumpf's total intake was $21,299,726 and he had self-funded $12,838,864 of that.)

Presaging the demise of the Jeb campaign was just $379,000 for January that Right to Rise, his inept SuperPAC, took in ($250,000 of which came from Michigan neo-fasscist money-bags Richard DeVos-- who gave an equal amount to Rubio on the same day). $379,000 in and $34.5 million spent the same month. What's wrong with that picture? ($7 million was for "operating expenses" so we know that at least some rich consultants got even richer giving Jeb terrible and fatal advise.)

The anti-Trumpf SuperPACs don't count as money for Cruz or Rubio or Hillary, even if that money is ultimately benefitting those candidates. Liz Mair hasn't been able to raise anything for her ineffective Make America Awesome SuperPAC-- just $1,711 in December and $8,640 in January, but the Romney staffers that run the Our Principles SuperPAC have fared much better. Maggie Haberman reporting for the NY Times this morning, exposed the big financier of the anti-Trumpf advertising barrage, Marlene Ricketts, the wife of Ameritrade founder and Chicago Cubs owner Joe Ricketts. A family spokesperson told The Times that "Marlene Ricketts shares the disappointment of many Trump supporters who believe that our leaders in Washington have failed us, and also believes our next president must be a principled leader. In her view, Donald Trump has not been a consistent conservative and therefore would be unpredictable as our party leader."
The support from a member of the Ricketts family, which is far-flung and has backed several Republican presidential hopefuls this election cycle, represents the first indication of institutional mega-donor support for an effort to stop Mr. Trump. The group’s federal election filings are set to be posted later Saturday evening.
When will Herr Trumpf start attacking the Cubbies? And can the Republican primary campaigns start looking even more like this? Remember how proud they were of their "Deep Bench?"



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