When Donald Trump said he wasn’t taking money from lobbyists, he wasn’t kidding.If he’s the sort of candidate that can be bought and sold, there certainly isn’t any evidence of that among his donors.
For Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, the opposite is true. And why wouldn’t lobbyists throw money at her? Her Middle-Eastern donors to the Clinton Foundation were rewarded by her State Department with billions in weapons deals. Lobbyists can expect the same sort of luxury treatment.As the Washington Post reports: Lobbyists have so far raised $7 million for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, while Donald Trump’s campaign reports he has collected $0 from K Street fundraisers.
Relying on lobbyists to raise, or bundle, contributions is a strategy employed by presidential candidates in both parties for several elections. But Trump, the presumptive GOP nominee, has been reluctant to rely on traditional fundraising practices as part of a campaign where he has portrayed himself as an outsider candidate who is not beholden to campaign contributors. That approach has also put him at a fundraising disadvantage against Clinton.
The $7 million figure represents the amount of money that federally registered lobbyists have bundled for the official Clinton campaign since the start of the election cycle in 2015 through June 30. People who raise more than $17,600 from friends, family and colleagues are known as bundlers. Campaigns are required to disclose the names of bundlers if they are registered lobbyists, but are not required to disclose the names of all bundlers.In addition, lobbyists have raised $2 million for the Hillary Victory Fund, the campaign’s joint fundraising committee with the Democratic National Committee, since 2015.
By comparison, Trump’s official campaign nor its joint fundraising committee with the Republican National Committee, Trump Victory, reported any lobbyist bundlers. That is unusual for a Republican presidential candidate, but Trump has sought to distance himself from the GOP establishment, including K Street, during his campaign.
It’s possible registered lobbyists have bundled some money for Trump but not enough to trigger the $17,600 disclosure threshold.Speaking of donors, let’s take a quick peek at her top donors:
Soros’ name makes the list, and his hedge fund is just one of many financial institutions to back Hillary. In total, the “Securities & Investment” industry accounts for the largest donor of Hillary by industry, accounting for nearly $40 million of her funds raised.
And that’s for Hillary Clinton — who’s based a large part of her campaign railing against Wall Street.
Meanwhile, while Trump may seem like an unlikely choice for Bernie supporters, when you look at these numbers, it starts to make a lot of sense.
[Note: This post was authored by Matt Palumbo. Follow him on Twitter @MattPalumbo12]