Outside groups spending big to help Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton: Reports

Many groups, along with the presidential campaigns, are due to report the details of their late summertime fundraising and expenses to federal regulators on Tuesday.

By: AP | Washington | Published:September 21, 2016 4:28 am
US, US elections, US presidential elections, Donald Trump, Trump, Hillary Clinton, Clinton, election donations, election fundraising, US election news, US news, world news, latest news, Indian express Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, left, and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. (AP File Photo)

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton say they raised record amounts of money in August for their presidential bids, a total of $233 million just in one month. And wealthy donors are pouring millions of dollars more into outside groups involved in the race for the White House and Senate contests. Many of those groups, along with the presidential campaigns, are due to report the details of their late summertime fundraising and expenses to federal regulators on Tuesday.

Here are some takeaways from the earliest reports to come in:

More Big Checks For Clinton Group

Priorities USA, the main super political action committee backing Clinton, continued to haul in money from wealthy Democratic donors in August. The group started this month with $41.5 million in the bank after pulling in more than $23 million.

Nearly half of that came from a handful of big donors. Slim-Fast billionaire Daniel Abraham gave $3 million as did Chicago media billionaire Fred Eychaner. Combined, the two men have given the super PAC $16 million this election cycle.

Democratic super donors, both billionaire financiers, George Soros and Donald Sussman gave $2.5 million and $2 million, respectively, and Emerson Collective LLC, a social activism organization headed by Steve Jobs’ widow, Laurene Powell Jobs, contributed $2 million.

Senate Cash

Billionaire money is pouring into outside groups focused on the Senate, new documents show.

The Senate Leadership Fund, a super PAC helmed by a former chief of staff to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, raised more than $28 million in August after months of slow fundraising.

More than two-thirds of that haul came from billionaire casino owner Sheldon Adelson and his wife, Miriam, marking their first major investments in the 2016 races. 39.3

The Democratic counterpart to the group, the Senate Majority PAC, raised $11.6 million last month. Its top August donor was Eychaner, who gave $3 million. Close allies of Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid direct the super PAC.

Despite having been trounced in August fundraising, overall, the Democratic group has nearly kept pace with the Republican group, the reports show.

NRA For Trump

One of the most active outside groups backing Trump, the Republican nominee, is the political arm of the deep-pocketed National Rifle Association, which began September with about $10 million in the bank.

“The NRA, great people, they endorsed me,” Trump said at a rally Tuesday in North Carolina.

The NRA Political Victory Fund reported Tuesday that it raised $1.4 million in August, mostly from small donations, while it spent more than $3.9 million.

The majority of the group’s spending, some $3 millio, was on television advertising opposing Clinton, the Democratic nominee, the reports show. According to the Kantar Media’s political ad tracker, the group’s ads have been concentrated in the battleground states of Ohio, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Nevada and Iowa. The new reports also show the NRA set up pro-Trump booths at gun shows across the country.

Facebook Money For Clinton

Dustin Moskovitz, a co-founder of the social media site Facebook explained in an essay this month that he would spend $20 million to help elect Clinton and other Democrats. A chunk of that money, $5 million, showed up in the League of Conservation Voters’ bank account in August. That made up the majority of its almost $6 million in August fundraising, reports filed Tuesday show.

Nearly all of LCV’s expenses last month were related to television ads opposing Republican Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey. The group is also canvassing and mailing out pledge cards and other materials backing Clinton, filings show.