Where Did The Big Money Go
Very large donations in U.S. presidential elections are directed to super PACs or hybrid PACs because of the $5,600 limit on how much an individual can give to a candidates official campaign committee per election cycle. America First Action, a single-candidate, pro-Trump super PAC founded in April 2017 to support his agenda and deliver him a victory, was the primary recipient of funds from his wealthy backers.
Millions of dollars have come into the super PAC from the affiliated America First Policies nonprofit, but because it doesnt disclose its donors, its known as a dark money group, and we cant be certain who contributed to it. Trump supporters may have also given to joint fundraising committees set up for the presidential campaign and the Republican National Committeefor example, Trump Victory or the Trump Make America Great Again Committee.
Big Oil Remembers ‘friend’ Trump With Millions In Campaign Funds
Donations to support the presidents re-election have flooded in from a fossil fuel industry that has enjoyed three years of energy deregulation and tax cuts
In mid-June the oil pipeline billionaire Kelcy Warren hosted a fundraising bash at his palatial Dallas, Texas, home that drew the presence of Donald Trump and raised $10m for the US presidents campaign coffers.
Warrens fundraising gusher for Trump occurred after he and his wife had donated a hefty $1.7m since 2019 to Trump Victory, a fundraising vehicle for Trumps re-election and the Republican National Committee, according to the non-partisan Open Secrets group.
All this campaign largesse comes after Warrens company Energy Transfer notched a major win soon after Trump took office, winning regulatory approval to move ahead with the controversial and legally embattled Dakota Access pipeline.
The Dallas billionaires ties with Trump were boosted when Trump in 2017 tapped Rick Perry to be energy secretary a former Texas governor, Perry sat on the board of an Energy Transfer subsidiary before his energy post, and afterwards in early 2020 joined another Energy Transfer board.
Warrens fundraising skills, personal checks and access to top officials, underscore how fossil fuel billionaires and other energy moguls from Texas to New York to Oklahoma, have opened their wallets wide and raised cash to re-elect Trump, after three-plus years of enjoying Trumps sweeping energy deregulation and tax cuts.
This Is The Third Installment Of A Four
Donald Trump never donated to his own reelection campaign, but he did find plenty of other billionaires willing to write him checks. In total, Forbes identified 133 superrich donors who pitched in for Trumps 2020 campaign.
Trumps tycoons, who collectively make up about 14% of all American billionaires, tend to fall into a few specific categories. Several were longtime Republican mega-donors, like gambling mogul Sheldon Adelson, who died in January, and his wife, Miriam. Others knew Trump from their days in business, including Texas banker Andy Beal and casino king Phil Ruffin. About one quarter of them made their money in finance and investments, more than any other industry. About 10% got rich in real estate, while roughly the same number earned a fortune from the energy sector. Most of them came from three states: New York , Texas and Florida .
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Liz Cheney Is Riding For The Brand In Dc But Back In Wyoming The Brand May Be Trump
Rep. Liz Cheney will need a coalition of anti-Trump Republicans, independents and crossover Democrats to win her Aug. 16 primary in Wyoming.
Cheney trailed her primary rival Hageman by 22 percentage points in a Casper Star-Tribune poll published July 15.
Shes in deep manure, said Stuart Spencer, an advisor to President Reagan and longtime friend of the Cheney family who first met Cheney when she was in kindergarten.
Spencer and his wife, who live in Palm Desert, hosted a fundraiser in January that netted Cheneys campaign over $100,000.
Shes very unselfish, he said of her work on the Jan. 6 committee.
The precariousness of Cheneys House seat is an unexpected turn for a woman once considered Republican royalty. Her campaign declined requests for comment, but the congresswoman has said her conscience is clear.
Speaking recently on CNN, she said: If I have to choose between maintaining a seat in the House of Representatives or protecting the constitutional republic and ensuring the American people know the truth about Donald Trump, Im going to choose the Constitution and the truth every single day.
Arizona Donors Double Down After Jan 6 Panel Questions Trump Election Fund
By: Neetish Basnet/Cronkite News– July 26, 2022 7:11 am
WASHINGTON Scottsdale resident William Acorn had made occasional donations to conservative candidates in the past, but never considered himself an avid political person.
That changed in 2020, after a flurry of emails from then-President Donald Trumps campaign begging supporters to step up and give us the resources to challenge Democrats plans to count ILLEGAL ballots. Acorn became one of tens of thousands of Arizonans who responded with almost 35,000 individual donations to Trumps Election Defense Fund.
The only problem is, no such fund existed.
The campaign actually funneled most of the Election Defense Fund donations to Trumps then-new Save America political action committee, said Amanda Wick, senior investigative counsel for the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., said the Trump campaign misled donors, what she called in a June committee hearing a big rip off.
Acorn, for one, is not feeling ripped off.
I do believe it was , he said of the 2020 election. I believe that people really dont understand the underlying issues going on in this country. This country is being hijacked by ultra-, ultra-liberal elitists.
by Neetish Basnet/Cronkite News, Arizona MirrorJuly 26, 2022
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Trump Reportedly Poured $13 Million In Political Contributions Into His Own Businesses After Losing Election
Former President Donald Trump continued to fundraise after he lost the 2020 election, and poured some $1.3 million of political contributions into his own businesses, his latest federal filings showed.
According to a review by Forbes, between the lost election and the end of 2020, Trumps campaign committee Donald J. Trump for President handed over $113,000 to Trump enterprises, including two rent payments of $38,000 to Trump Tower Commercial LLC, and two $3,000 checks to Trump Restaurants LLC.
In 2021, Trump changed the name of his campaign committee to the Make America Great Again PAC, and money again poured into Trump enterprises, Forbes reported. Close to $38,000 was paid in rent to the Trump Tower Commercial LLC every month or so, and checks for $3,000 were often paid to his restaurant business.
From the time of his election loss to the end of February 2022, the PAC had paid $526,000 to his companies, per Forbes review of the Federal Election Commission filings.
Other Trump political groups also rained cash on his operations. The joint-fundraising committee Trump Victory, which collected money for the Trump campaign and state-level Republican groups, paid $294,000 to the Trump Hotel Collection.
Trumps leadership PAC, Save America, spent $213,000 at Trump properties from February 2021 until May 2022.
In a 2000 interview. Trump boasted to Fortune magazine: Its very possible that I could be the first presidential candidate to run and make money on it.
Why It Matters That Trumps Election Defense Fund Didnt Exist
Among Donald Trumps worst qualities is the frequency with which the former president has tried to rip off those whove put their trust in him. Indeed, the Republican developed some expertise in this area, running both a fraudulent charitable foundation and a fraudulent university that was designed to rip off its students.
All of this came to mind this morning, as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack held its second hearing, which covered a lot of ground, including a review of how Trump and his team used their election lies to separate the then-presidents followers from their money. NBC News reported:
Committee investigators also traced the money Trump and his allies raised from small donors by stoking election fraud fears, which they said totaled more than $250 million. And while the money was billed as going to The Official Election Defense Fund, two Trump campaign staffers testified that the fund did not actually exist and was just a marketing tactic.
As one former Trump campaign staffer told the bipartisan congressional committee, I dont believe there is actually a fund called the ‘Election Defense Fund.'”
And where, pray tell, did this quarter of a billion dollars go? Some of the money helped pay for Trumps pre-riot rally just south of the White House on Jan. 6, but the bulk of the money went to the former presidents new super PAC.
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Can Campaign Contributions Be Refunded
Candidate campaign committees can be refunded to donors after the candidate drops out. This must be done within 60 days. They may also redirect the funds elsewhere with the donor’s permission. Some candidates may also choose to refund contributions to donors for moral or ethical reasons, or for legal purposes if a donor has exceeded the maximum allowable contribution.
Forbes Found 133 Billionaires Or Spouses Of Billionaires Who Donated To Trumps Campaign Ahead Of The 2020 Election They Built Their Fortunes In 17 Industries
Some clearly benefited from having a friend in the White House. Miriam Adelson received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Kelcy Warren, chief executive of Energy Transfer Partners, got clearance for his Dakota Access Pipeline, as well as a seat on the board of trustees at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Harold Hamm, the oil baron, became an informal advisor. Linda McMahon, who is married to WWE Chief Executive Vince McMahon, accepted a role as head of the Small Business Administration, before moving on to chair a pro-Trump super-PAC named America First Action.
On average, the donors contributed about $285,000 to the Trump campaign and its joint-fundraising committees, which split their hauls with the Republican Party. About 9% of Trumps billionaire donors, however, gave less than $5,000. At least 19 also donated to pro-Trump super-PACs. Unlike other types of political committees, super-PACs can accept unlimited amounts of money. The Adelsons, for instance, gave $90 million to a pro-Trump super-PAC called Preserve America. Marvel Entertainment billionaire Isaac Perlmutter and his wife, Laura, gave $21 million to America First. Kelcy Warren donated $10 million to the same group.
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More: Trump Fundraising For New ‘save America’ Pac While Still Contesting Election Results
The Republican National Committee also reported having $56.3 million cash in hand at the end of December 2021.
In a press release Monday, Trump’s Save America political action committee said that the $51 million was raised by the former president’s multiple committees from July 1 through Dec. 31, 2021.
The average donation Trump received between his committees was $31, with a total of 1,631,648 donations, the release said.
Notably, Trump doesn’t appear to be sharing many of his donations yet. With over $122 million in cash on hand, Trump says his PACs have only donated $1.35 million to “to like-minded causes and endorsed candidates.”
Save America’s filing shows that $1 million of that contribution went to the nonprofit Conservative Partnership Institute, which is led by a slew of Trump’s close allies, including Mark Meadows, Jim DeMint and Ed Corrigan.
Much of Save America’s money in the latter half of 2021 was spent on Facebook ads, payroll, and consulting fees for various firms, including $1.5 million paid to Tim Unes’ firm Event Strategies and $60,000 paid to former Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale’s firm Parscale Strategy, according to the filing. More than $240,000 also went to legal spending, the filing shows.
Questions Abound As Trump Raises And Hoards Huge Sums Of 2024 Cash
Without any declared candidacy, and with little spent on Republican candidates, the purpose of Trumps war chest remains opaque
Donald Trumps ferocious money-raising machine, powered in equal measure by grassroots giving and large individual and corporate donations, has never really stopped turning and it is currently raising huge sums of cash.
As of this month, Trump has $108,046,100 saved in his Save America political fund, more than the Republican and Democratic national committees combined, and 12 times as much as the fund Pac for the Future for the Democratic House speaker, Nancy Pelosi.
And all of that has been raised while Trumps own ambitions remain unclear. Though his grip on the Republican party remains tight and he has waged an endorsement war against his opponents the big question over whether Trump will run again for the White House remains unanswered.
Without any declared candidacy, his war chests purpose and thus also that of its master, is unclear and deliberately so.
Trump cannot easily spend the money on himself should he decide to run in 2024. Save America is registered as a leadership pac, or political action committee, not a campaign tool for himself. Yet Trump is not yet spending much, according to its leadership purpose of supporting Republican candidates going into this years hotly contested midterm elections.
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Law Firms Linked To Jan 6 Probe Get Pac Payments
According to Save America PACs new filing, tens of thousands of dollars were paid to law firms representing top Trump aides who have gotten subpoenas from the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 riots on Capitol Hill. Its unclear exactly why the PAC was paying the firms, but several of them have been deeply involved in dealings with the Jan. 6 committee.
The PAC paid $29,500 in December to Abel Bean Law, a firm based in Jacksonville, Fla., that is representing Budowich, the Trump spokesperson. Over the holidays, Budowich who testified before the committee and turned over financial documents sued the committee over a subpoena to his bank. A federal judge rejected that effort, but Budowich and his attorneys continue to fight to keep his bank records private.
Another firm, Brand Woodward Law, has represented Scavino, who tried and failed to anonymously sue Verizon to block a subpoena for his phone records. Save America PAC paid that law firm $25,000. Like others, Scavino has been trying to fight the subpoena by arguing the investigative committee lacked valid legislative purpose.
The PAC also paid $50,000 to JP Rowley Law PLLC, a law firm representing conservative attorney Cleta Mitchell, who advised Trump on how to contest the election and took part in his now-infamous call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.
A Small Circle Of Advisers Are Drawing Consulting Payments
The former president has continued to keep a small and familiar circle of aides and advisers on his payroll, according to filings. That circle includes figures like his caddy-turned-confidante Dan Scavino, longtime aide Lynne Patton, Stephen Miller, spokespeople Taylor Budowich and Liz Harrington, and former White House aides Beau Harrison, Margo Martin and Molly Mitchell.
Trumps Save America PAC has also continued to shell out thousands to consulting firms run by former campaign officials.
Save America PAC paid $128,970 to the firm of former campaign strategist Michael Glassner, while a firm run by former campaign manager Brad Parscale got $60,000 for digital consulting.
The PAC paid National Public Affairs, led by former campaign manager Bill Stepien and top campaign officials Justin Clark and Nick Trainer, over $60,000. Another $60,000 went to Belmont Strategies, a political consulting firm headed by Andrew Surabian, a top aide to Donald Trump Jr.
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A Small Yellow Box And A Flood Of Fraud Complaints
The small and bright yellow box popped up on Mr. Trumps digital donation portal around . The text was boldface, simple and straightforward: Make this a monthly recurring donation.
The box came prefilled with a check mark.
But for Mr. Trump, the prechecked monthly box was just the beginning.
Ronna McDaniel, the R.N.C. chairwoman, crowed to Fox News about the achievement without mentioning how exactly the party had pulled it off. Republicans are thinking smarter digitally, she said, and were poised to outwork, outdo, and outmaneuver the Democrats at every turn.
The two prechecked yellow boxes would be a fixture for the rest of the campaign. And so would a much larger volume of refunds.
Until then, the Biden and Trump operations had nearly identical refund rates on WinRed and ActBlue in 2020: 2.18 percent for Mr. Trump and 2.17 percent for Mr. Biden.
But from the day after Mr. Trumps birthday through the rest of the year, Mr. Bidens refund rate remained nearly flat, at 2.24 percent, while Mr. Trumps soared to 12.29 percent.
In early September just after learning that it had been outraised by the Biden operation in August by more than $150 million the Trump campaign became even more aggressive.
You dont realize it until after everything is already in motion, said Bruce Turner, 72, of Gilbert, Ariz., whose wifes $1,000 donation in early October became $6,000 by Election Day. They were refunded $5,000 the week after the election, records show.
Can Politicians Keep Campaign Funds
Politicians cannot keep any campaign funds for themselves. Contributions must be used during the campaign to pay for related expenses. They are not intended for personal use. Any money that is left over after a candidate drops out or once the election is over must be used to pay off debts. Funds can also be used for other purposes. For instance, a candidate may donate an unlimited amount to a federal, state, or local political committee or they may be refunded to donors.
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