Pro-Clinton super PAC reports $11.7 million March haul
By Associated Press | April 20, 2016, 19:54 EDT
WASHINGTON (AP) — A deep-pocketed Democratic super PAC backing former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reported bringing in more than $11.7 million, increasing its haul this election cycle to more than $67 million.
The group’s March fundraising dwarfed the amount brought in by some super PACs backing Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, which each started April with only a little over $1 million cash on hand after spending heavily on radio and television advertising last month.
Those were the early findings from reports filed with the Federal Election Commission ahead of a midnight Wednesday deadline. The reports detail the financial health of the Democratic and Republican presidential candidates and outside political groups during a politically packed month.
On the Democratic side, March saw the race tighten between Clinton and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, while the GOP field thinned out after the exits of retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson and one of the Republican establishment favorites, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.
Cruz and billionaire Donald Trump posted several primary victories during the month while Kasich prevailed in his home state. Anti-Trump super PACs also poured millions into a deluge of political advertising.
Highlights so far from the filings:
CLINTON’S AIR POWER
Clinton-backing Priorities USA, a super PAC that says it plans to pour $125 million into ads supporting her, reported taking in $11.7 million in March, bringing the group’s total haul this election cycle to more than $67 million.
So far, data from political advertising tracker Kantar Media’s Campaign Media Analysis Group show the group has reserved more than $64 million in television ads scheduled to air from Aug. 2 through the day before the general election.
The group also said it will start airing other TV ads in June and plans to spend heavily on digital advertising to support Clinton and attack Cruz and Trump.
At the start of April, Priorities reported more than $44 million cash on hand. A group spokesman also says it has lined up an additional $49 million in “commitments” from wealthy donors.
New Day for America, one of the super PACs backing Kasich, ended the month with only about $1.2 million cash on hand after pouring money into television and radio advertisements ahead of the March 15 Ohio primary.
According to Kantar Media’s data, New Day for America spent nearly $1.3 million on television and radio ads in Ohio alone, part of about $2 million in airtime the group purchased last month.
Overall in March, the group reported spending $4.1 million on a host of political activities including fundraising consulting, voter contact and polling.
In its FEC filing, the super PAC also reported raising $2.8 million, the bulk of which came from a handful of donors.
Some of the group’s six-figure backers included hedge fund manager Stanley Druckenmiller, who gave $400,000. Quicken Loans founder and chairman Dan Gilbert and hedge fund manager David Tepper, president of Appaloosa Management L.P., both gave $250,000 as did Gordon Gund, CEO of Gund Investment Group.
Charles G. Butt, CEO of supermarket chain H-E-B, gave $150,000, and the super PAC also benefited from a $100,000 contribution from HJK LLC, a company controlled by former New York Post publisher and real estate developer Peter S. Kalikow.
CRUZ’S MONEY PACK
Trusted Leadership PAC, the predominant super PAC backing Cruz, reported taking in $4.5 million, the bulk of it coming from other super PACs and a pair of seven-figure donations.
Trusted Leadership was launched in late February and announced last month that it would serve as the fundraising umbrella group for a handful of Cruz-aligned super PACs.
Missouri-based Herzog Contracting Corp, an asphalt and pavement contractor founded by Bill Herzog, donated $1 million to Trusted Leadership. So did Richard Uihlein, CEO of shipping supply distributor Uline Inc.
The group’s filing also reflected the coordination with other super PACS including a combined $900,000 cash infusion from Keep the Promise I and Stand for Truth, which both back Cruz.
Trusted Leadership finished last month with about $1.1 million cash on hand after spending $3.6 million during March. But the majority of those expenditures— nearly $1.4 million— were contributions to other Cruz-aligned groups.
Written by Chad Day