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2016 finance

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Exclusive investigation: Donald Trump faces foreign donor fundraising scandal. O’Keefe files FEC complaint against Clinton camp, DNC. Conservative activist James O’Keefe has filed a Federal Election Commission (FEC) complaint against Hillary Clinton Hillary Rodham ClintonClinton mocks Trump's claim that he won third debate Trump uses out-of-context line to hit Michelle Obama Philly Inquirer endorses Clinton MORE’s presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

O’Keefe’s Project Veritas Action Fund announced the complaint on Friday, alleging “a criminal conspiracy” involving the Clinton campaign, the DNC and three left-leaning super PACs. “Journalists with Project Veritas Action Fund ('PVA') have uncovered a criminal conspiracy, where, in the words of Scott Foval, ‘The way that works is: The [Hillary for America] campaign pays DNC, DNC pays Democracy Partners, Democracy Partners, Democracy Partners pays The Foval Group, The Foval Group goes and executes ... on the ground,” says the complaint, filed Tuesday.

“We have mentally ill people who we pay to do shit, make no mistake,” Foval says in the video. First on CNN: Seven new unions help Democratic field effort raise $60 million. For Our Future, a new outside group set on avoiding duplication among traditional powerplayers on the left, will report this weekend having collected millions from a new corps of donors, including unions representing steelworkers and letter carriers, the group told CNN Friday. Yet the biggest supporter remains Tom Steyer, the billionaire climate activist who was the Democratic Party's top donor during the 2014 cycle. Steyer has given $20 million to the organization through his personalized super PAC, NextGen Climate, and said in an interview Thursday that he did not plan to increase the size of that commitment in the coming weeks. Other top givers to the super PAC are Dustin Moskovitz, the Facebook co-founder who has stunned Democrats by injecting groups with $35 million out of nowhere, and his wife who together donated $5 million to For Our Future.

"The organization is basically in place," Steyer said. "If we decided at this point, 'Let's go do Hawaii', you really can't. " How 10 mega-donors already helped pour a record $1.1 billion into super PACs. Trump campaign quarrels over money woes. Frustration is growing within Donald Trump’s campaign over the Republican nominee’s yawning money gap with Democratic rival Hillary Clinton -- just as the presidential race heads into its final fall stretch.

Trump’s top advisers have held a series of tense conversations in recent days about how to close a fundraising hole that’s grown to over $200 million – a deficit that’s led Trump to essentially cede the TV airwaves to his Democratic rival. The discussions, which were relayed by more than a half-dozen sources, have veered into finger pointing, with some participants pinning the blame on the Republican National Committee or on Steven Mnuchin, Trump’s national finance chairman and a newcomer to the political scene.

Story Continued Below The shortfall is putting Trump at a substantial disadvantage during the remaining few weeks of the campaign, as focus shifts to the clinical – and costly -- process of bringing voters out to the polls. Mnuchin pushed back. Hillary Clinton Raised A Massive $143 Million In August. Donald Trump embraces fundraising, not transparency. As Donald Trump hustles to close the cash gap with Hillary Clinton, he is embarking on his most aggressive fundraising push yet — but his team is refusing to name the bundlers across the country who are helping grease an operation that raised a stronger-than-expected $80 million in July.

Trump has scheduled a blitz of fundraisers across the country in the coming weeks, such as the two high-dollar soirees he attended in Nantucket and Cape Cod over the weekend, including one at the home of billionaire Bill Koch, the lesser-known brother of Charles and David. There, co-hosts had to raise at least $100,000 for six tickets to a VIP reception and a photo with the Manhattan mogul.

Story Continued Below It is a sharp departure from the primary, when Trump claimed he couldn’t be bought and his decision to pour tens of millions of his own money into the race was central to his image as a selfless billionaire sacrificing for the betterment of the nation. “We never talked about money. US election 2016: Who's funding Trump, Sanders and the rest?

Image copyright Getty Images The role of money has become an issue all its own in this election cycle. Bernie Sanders has called for an end to big money in politics while billionaire Donald Trump is using his own wealth to fund part of his campaign. US federal election law requires all candidates to report each campaign donation to the Federal Election Committee (FEC). These filings offer insight into who is willing to put their money where their vote is. These reports do not include the large sums going to independent-expenditure only committees (super PACs) and other party and outside group spending. Super PACs must maintain a separation from the campaign. Direct campaign donors are legally allowed to interact with a candidate, but their donations cannot exceed $2,700 per presidential candidate. So who is using their cash to possibly bend the ear of the future president?

Hillary Clinton - Total raised $130,443,637 (£91,761,306) Full coverage of the 2016 election The fall of Marco Rubio. US election 2016: Who's funding Trump, Sanders and the rest? The POLITICO 100: Billionaires dominate 2016. The 100 biggest donors of 2016 cycle have spent $195 million trying to influence the presidential election ― more than the $155 million spent by the 2 million smallest donors combined — according to a POLITICO analysis of campaign finance data. The analysis found that the leading beneficiaries of checks from the top 100 donors were Jeb Bush’s floundering campaign for the GOP nomination (a supportive super PAC received $49 million from donors on the list), Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton (super PACs dedicated to her raised $38 million from top 100 donors) and Ted Cruz’s insurgent GOP campaign ($37 million).

Story Continued Below The findings explain why, on the eve of Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary, the super PAC allies of Cruz and Rubio are circling like vultures around the megadonors who have supported rival GOP presidential candidates whose campaigns are floundering, like Bush, or those who have already dropped out, like Rand Paul. Small Gifts to Bernie Sanders Challenge Hillary Clinton Fund-Raising Model. Jeb Bush 2016: Ad spending, along with Right to Rise PAC, hits $50 million. Jeb Bush’s campaign and the super PAC supporting his presidential candidacy have far outspent all other 2016 competitors on advertising, exceeding the amount spent by all campaigns at this point in 2012 by $10 million.

Together, Bush and his Right to Rise super PAC have spent a combined $49 million on advertisements across the country through Jan. 9, according to an NBC News report published Tuesday. Story Continued Below Right to Rise reported raising $103 million last summer and has spent $47.5 million on ads. Bush’s official campaign, meanwhile, has spent $1.5 million. Bush’s ad spending nearly doubles that of the next biggest spender in the race: Florida Sen. In contrast, Donald Trump — who maintains a double-digit lead over his Republican rivals in the first national survey released this year — has spent just $1.5 million on ads. Trump has dinged Bush several times within the past week for his anti-Trump ads.

Ted Cruz's silent super PACs a growing worry for campaign. The super PACs backing Sen. Ted Cruz’s presidential run have yet to reserve any TV time in the early primary states — or anywhere else — despite a combined $38 million war chest that ranks second among presidential contenders only to Jeb Bush’s $103 million operation. The total absence of ads has created confusion and growing consternation inside the Cruz campaign, which cannot legally communicate with its allied super PACs and has had to watch as its rivals lock in tens of millions of dollars in ads before prices spike, as they typically do as elections near. Story Continued Below “I assume they’re waiting so their media buyers make the highest commission,” one Cruz adviser quipped. While most 2016 candidates have one main super PAC backing them, the Cruz super PACS are a decentralized alliance of four independent but interconnected operations, each called some version of “Keep the Promise.”

Hedge fund manager Robert Mercer gave $11 million to one. “I don’t need to be defensive. Cruz’s quiet fundraising strength: A network of wealthy donors. Wealthy investors shot skeet with Sen. Ted Cruz in Park City, Utah, earlier this month. Conservative lawyers gathered in a clubby Washington restaurant last week to raise money for his presidential bid. And on Monday, billionaire technology entrepreneur Darwin Deason and five other wealthy Texans announced that they were coming aboard his campaign. For all his bashing of “billionaire Republican donors” who “actively despise our base,” the anti-establishment senator from Texas is being bolstered by his own robust base of wealthy contributors.

Cruz raised $5.2 million through the end of September from supporters who gave him the $2,700 maximum — making him No. 2 in the GOP race for large donors, after former Florida governor Jeb Bush, according to an analysis by the nonpartisan Campaign Finance Institute. The senator’s quiet fundraising prowess — he has collected $26.5 million to date — could help give him staying power in what is sure to be a hard-fought battle for the GOP nomination. Democrats Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders top Republicans in fundraising |... Presidential campaigns released their fundraising totals for the third quarter of 2015 on Thursday. The results included a few surprises, as the pace of the 2016 presidential primary gets ready to pick up in the fall.

Most notable were the stunning take from Vermont senator Bernie Sanders, the surprisingly low-budget campaign of Donald Trump and the continuing financial advantage that top Democratic candidates had over their Republican rivals. The two Democratic frontrunners, Hillary Clinton and Sanders, each out-raised all of their Republican rivals. Clinton raised $29.4m, edging Sanders who had $26.2m. Both far outpaced Ben Carson, the top GOP fundraiser at $20.8m, in the past quarter and were even further ahead of other top Republicans as well.

Unsurprisingly the two Democratic candidates raised this in entirely different ways. An eye-popping 77% of Sanders’ contributions come from small donors and the frugal socialist’s campaign ended the quarter with $27.1m cash on hand. How a reclusive computer programmer became a GOP money powerhouse. He has attained almost mythic stature in the new big-money world of presidential politics — a reclusive computer programmer, a hedge fund magnate and the biggest individual super-PAC donor so far of this campaign cycle. Robert L. Mercer worked on a team that revolutionized the arcane world of machine translation. Then he made his fortune devising algorithms to outwit Wall Street traders. Throughout it all, he has avoided attention. The tiny public record reveals a man of exacting and perhaps unreasonable standards, sued by his household staff in a dispute over, among other things, partially filled shampoo bottles.

“I loved the solitude of the computer lab late at night,” he said in a rare speech last year. Bob Mercer attends the World Science Festival Gala on April 7, 2014, in New York. Then came a political curveball: In mid-June, that PAC directed $500,000 to a PAC supporting a Cruz rival, former Silicon Valley executive Carly Fiorina. Mercer declined through a spokesman to comment. Political parties go after million-dollar donors in wake of looser rules. The national political parties are urging wealthy backers to give them 10 times more money than was allowed in the last presidential election, taking advantage of looser restrictions to pursue ­million-dollar donors with zeal. Under the new plans, which have not been disclosed publicly, the top donation tier for the Republican National Committee has soared to $1.34 million per couple this election cycle. Democratic contributors, meanwhile, are being hit up for even more — about $1.6 million per couple — to support the party’s convention and a separate joint fundraising effort between the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Rodham Clinton’s campaign.

In return, elite donors are being promised perks such as exclusive retreats with top party leaders, VIP treatment at the nominating conventions and special dinners organized by contribution rank at this month’s RNC finance committee gala. [2016 fundraising shows power tilting to groups backed by wealthy elite] Rick Perry’s campaign details a path forward despite money woes. Former Texas governor Rick Perry (REUTERS/Rick Wilking) Beset by fundraising troubles, Rick Perry's presidential campaign sees a path forward by morphing into a skeletal operation and living off the land to keep the former Texas governor's candidacy alive through to the start of next year's caucus and primaries.

The Perry team is confident that his economic record as governor for 14 years, coupled with his retail political skills on the stump, give him potential to rise at some point in what so far has proven to be a fluid and unsettled Republican primary campaign. With money running short, the Perry campaign stopped paying its staff as of last Friday, though almost all are staying on as volunteers for now. The campaign has decided to husband its resources to pay for the candidate's travel, via commercial flights, to events in the early voting states and will focus on getting his message out in earned media interviews.

[The Fix: Is this the end for Rick Perry?] In mid-2007, Sen. How Presidential Candidates Are Pushing Past Campaign Finance Boundaries This... WASHINGTON -- The 2016 presidential campaign is in full swing, and as the second national campaign since the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision, it's bringing a whole new dynamic favoring wealthy donors and big-monied interests. Its main difference from the 2012 campaign -- which featured the first single-candidate presidential super PACs -- is that candidates now have tossed aside the illusion of super PAC independence. Whereas Mitt Romney once mused that he would “go to the big house” if he attempted to tell the super PAC supporting his campaign to stop running ads attacking his opponent Newt Gingrich, candidates today are not so shy.

They have openly launched, picked their staff, raised unlimited funds and even announced an intention to coordinate with both super PACs and nonprofits supporting them. (Romney’s campaign in fact created his super PAC, but this was not acknowledged or reported until after his loss.) Former Florida Gov. Sen. The super PAC quartet backing Sen. The 2016 presidential contenders and their big-money backers - Washington Post. Jeb Bush and his allies amass an unprecedented $114 million haul. Former Florida governor Jeb Bush speaks to a crowd of supporters June 17 in Pella, Iowa. (Steve Pope/Getty Images) KENNEBUNKPORT, Maine — Jeb Bush's presidential campaign raised $11.4 million in the second quarter, and his allied super PAC brought in more than $103 million in the first six months of the year, giving the Republican presidential contender an unprecedented war chest as he heads into the highly competitive 2016 primary contest.

The massive sum raised by the super PAC, Right to Rise USA, instantly makes it one of the most potent forces in the White House race. The group has $98 million in cash on hand. "We are grateful for the overwhelming response from the thousands of donors who have been drawn to Jeb's optimistic message of conservative renewal and reform," said Charlie Spies, the group's treasurer and general counsel. The super PAC had more than 9,900 donors, including 9,400 who gave less than $25,000 each.

Hillary Clinton Bernie Sanders.