Bernie Sanders’ Camp Complains to DNC Over Hillary Clinton’s Fundraising
The line between legal and illegal presidential fundraising has gotten murkier in our post-Citizens United world. The Bernie Sanders camp believes Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee may have crossed it.
On Monday, Bernie 2016 expressed its concerns in a letter to DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz. The letter claims that the Hillary Victory Fund—the joint fundraising committee created by the DNC and Hillary for America (HFA)—is violating campaign finance rules.
The Hillary Victory Fund has reported receiving several individual contributions in amounts as high as $353,400 or more, which is over 130 times the $2,700 limit that applies for contributions to Secretary Clinton’s fund. Bernie 2016 is particularly concerned that these extremely large-dollar individual contributions have been used by the Hillary Victory Fund to pay for more than $7.8 million in direct mail efforts and over $8.6 million in online advertising, both of which appear to only benefit HFA by generating low-dollar contributions that flow only to HFA, rather than to the DNC or any of the participating state party committees. This issue was raised a couple of months ago in a Washington Post article focusing on the Hillary Victory Fund’s late 2015 activities. Now that we know this activity has not only continued but has grown to staggering magnitudes, it can no longer be ignored.
In March 2014, the Supreme Court struck down limits on federal campaign donations. The decision meant there was no longer a cap on how much an individual could give to candidates and political parties or committees. Before the ruling, an individual could give up to $123,200 ($48,600 to a candidate and $74,600 total to a political party or committee) in a two-year period.
The Clinton campaign has taken of advantage the rule change. Over the weekend, George Clooney and his wife, Amal, hosted fundraisers for Clinton in the Bay Area and Los Angeles. Ticket prices for the events ranged as high as $353,400 per couple.
The fundraisers attracted protesters. Now they have drawn an official legal response from the Bernie Sanders camp, which asked that the Clinton campaign finance violations stop.
Read the full letter here.
—Posted by Eric OrtizWait, before you go…
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