Hillary Clinton has raised far more money than Donald Trump in individual contributions, clobbering him at a rate of 6-to-1. But when we recently looked at where the donations are coming from, we discovered she enjoys an even greater advantage in some of the wealthiest areas of the country — a fundraising advantage that outpaces Trump at a rate of 44-to-1.
How many campaign dollars were we looking to trace? Clinton’s total individual contributions were $228,069,485 as of June 30 (according to Federal Election Commission filings). In contrast, at that same date, Trump had just $36,845,971 in individual contributions. That’s the six-to-one advantage noted above.
So, where did we look? Where in America are these contributions flowing from? Unsurprisingly, the nation’s three most populous states lead the way in contributions. Those states also have pockets of great wealth. In fact, 24 out of the 25 wealthiest ZIP codes (as measured by the highest median home sales) are in New York and California, according to real estate data published in Business Insider. We used recent Federal Election Commission filings to tally individual donations.
The table below puts the FEC donation data into a geographic context to illustrate the contributions from wealthy ZIP codes, including areas such as Beverly Hills, Palo Alto and New York.
In all the richest 25 ZIP codes in America, Clinton bests Trump by an enormous margin, an average of 44-to-1. As noted before, the national margin of individual dollar support shows Clinton ahead, but at a smaller ratio of 6-to-1.
In the Tribeca ZIP code of 10013 just south of Trump Tower in Manhattan — where the median home sale is $3.4 million — Clinton racked up 1,169 contributions totaling $747,360. Meanwhile Trump, received only four – yes, four – donations – totaling $620.
Beverly Hills may have the most recognizable American ZIP code, 90210, known for the entertainment industry fame of many of its residents. In that wealthy community, Clinton received 862 contributions totaling $869,056. Trump does not fare nearly as well among this crowd, pulling in 39 donations for a total of $49,657.
Palo Alto, an epicenter of technology and academia where the median home price is $2.28 million, sits in the 94306 ZIP code. There, Clinton has received 1,083 donations amounting to $257,789 of support. How many donations has Trump received from this hotspot of innovation? Three, for a total of $414.
Check out this helpful interactive map from the Federal Election Commission which illustrates which states are home to these individual donors.
Texas tops the list of states with the most donations to Trump – Texans have sent him about $2 million. (The map makes clear that although Texas is Trump’s strongest showing, it is hardly Trump country, as Texans sent Clinton more than five times as much cash. She received $11 million from Lone Star State residents).
Clinton can also thank California and New York, where residents have doled out $45,704,463 and $32,797,490, respectively. In contrast, Californians sent Trump donations totaling $2,000,071, and contributions to Trump from the Empire State don’t even crack the million-dollar mark — so far, New Yorkers have donated just $895,231 to Trump.
While the wealthiest areas of America historically donate more frequently to the Democratic nominee, this year shows an unprecedented disparity of support between the candidates. While Clinton brings in more money than Trump overall, it’s the areas where the houses are the priciest — where the money is what Trump might call the “hugest” — where Clinton’s campaign fundraising truly thrives.Tweet
Sunlight’s Melissa Yeager, Libby Watson, Ben Berliner, Drew Doggett and Josh Stewart sit down to debrief after the Republican and Democratic conventions. We tracked parties and attended both the DNC and RNC, and Libby discussed what we learned. The team also takes some time to discuss Sunlight’s analysis of the so-called Democratic superdelegates, where we found almost one in ten were registered lobbyists or influencers.
And as always we talk about our favorite fundraisers for those with money to burn. Party on!Tweet
Unsurprisingly, there are some events at the DNC in Philadelphia that you wouldn’t see at the RNC. Gun control groups like Everytown and Americans for Responsible Solutions are hosting events in Philadelphia, whereas the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation’s “Stars and Stripes Shoot-Out” at the RNC was sponsored by the National Rifle Association.
But if you’re also attending the DNC after last week’s RNC, and are looking to party, you’ll find some familiar names popping up.
In Cleveland last week, we attended the Inspiring Women Luncheon, sponsored by Johnson & Johnson and Walgreens; the same event was held today in Philadelphia. If we wanted more time on a boat with the National Marine Manufacturers Association, we had the opportunity to repeat the experience in Philadelphia, with another Day on the Water event. According to DemList, attendees would be learn about “the overwhelming impact that recreational boat, engine and accessory manufacturing have on the U.S. economy,” much as we did in Cleveland, though the Philadelphia event also promised to feature discussions of “the critical Delaware River habitat.”
Lobbying firms like Dentons, Heather Podesta + Partners and Squire Patton Boggs held similar events at both conventions, too. Many lobbying firms — even those whose leaders are huge donors to one party or candidate, like Heather Podesta — represent clients from corporations and groups associated with both sides of the aisle. Attending just one convention would mean leaving money (and influence) on the table.Tweet
Massive private fundraising and special interests groups made the show go during last week’s Republican National Convention in Cleveland. Now it’s the Democrats’ turn in Philadelphia. The fundraising and donations for both party conventions are detailed in reports from the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG).
While this week’s convention may be in another city, have a different cast of characters and feature a different party platform, it appears that the Democrats, like the GOP, are relying on big checks – upwards of $100,200 per person – to keep the wheels of the four day political bash moving.
You can thank Congress for this trend, which approved measures eliminating public financing of conventions in 2014. As a result, there are some staggering fundraising trends this year – the same time the Democratic party’s platform promises to “fight to reform our broken campaign finance system, which gives outsized influence to billionaires and big corporations.” Here’s a peek at some of the most important bits in the report:
· $67,199,500: expected private fundraising for the Democratic National Convention
· 24 percent: amount of convention committee funding contributed by donors giving maximum allowable contribution
· 54 percent: amount of Democratic presidential primary campaign cash raised from large donors
· $509,960,527: total raised by both Democratic presidential candidates with pledged delegates at the convention, through June 2016
· $100,200: amount a single donor can donate to a party convention committee per year
Keep checking in on Political Party Time, our blog of the DNC and follow @SFPartyTime as members of as Sunlight team hit Philadelphia. Follow @libbycwatson for the answers to all the questions you never even thought to ask.
Don’t forget to keep sending your invitations – here, or by email firstname.lastname@example.org. Party on!Tweet
Party conventions have fewer viewers, less suspense (now that nominees are weeded out through primaries), and now, thanks to a 2014 repeal of public financing of conventions (except for security funds), no longer receive any public financial support. Yet, this summer’s 2016 Republican and Democratic conventions are expected to smash spending records, according to Public Citizen, a nonprofit watchdog group that yesterday released a report calling this year’s conventions a “free-for-all” in which “party bosses turn entirely to corporations and the very wealthy” to foot the bill. They estimate that the “Republican convention in Cleveland is likely to cost about $71 million total with $64 million coming from private sources outside the party committee,” while the “Democratic convention in Philadelphia is expected to cost about $65 million, with $60 million coming from the host committee.”
Sunlight’s Political Party Time called attention to the luxuries available to convention-goers in 2012. For Democrats: spa treatments, golfing, a party with Google and Zumba sessions were on the agenda. Meanwhile Republicans could enjoy a beach party, a concert with Willie Nelson and a so-called “Anheuser-Busch Party,” among other lavish festivities.
Sunlight has questioned these practices and suggested that the party platforms themselves have highlighted a problem with money in politics. As Sunlight has noted in the past, there is tension “between the aspirations of the party platform and reality,” and that present practices indicate “hostility toward disclosure of money in politics.”
Sunlight collaborated with Public Citizen in a “bird-dogging” initiative to scrutinize the 2012 and 2008 political conventions and red flag activities which are in violation of ethics rules.
The 2016 conventions will be under special scrutiny because in 2014 Congress repealed public financing of the conventions (except for security, as noted above) and this new era of big private spending ushers in what is estimated to be $64 million of outside money going to the Republican convention and $60 million in funds being spent on behalf of the Democrats.
Political Party Time has been tracking receptions, coffee meetings and penthouse parties since 2008. This month’s conventions will be no different. Baseball, cocktails and a night with Judd Apatow are just a few of the activities on schedule.
Keep checking in as we post invitations to the events in Cleveland and Philadelphia. Are invites to the convention hitting your inbox? If so, upload them or send your invites to email@example.com. Party on!Tweet
After bowing out of the presidential race, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., for the looming Florida senate race against Rep. Pat Murphy, D-Fla. He’s begun the fundraising circuit with his new allies: the Pork and Pancake PACs.
Last year Rubio converted his Senate campaign committee into his presidential campaign, beginning his presidential run with millions of dollars of cash on hand. He recently converted his presidential campaign committee back to his Marco Rubio for Senate 2016 committee. The Florida senator currently has a little over $2 million cash on hand, but will need to raise much more to compete against Patrick Murphy.
His first fundraiser supporting his Senate re-election came on June 26th in Coral Gables, Fla. But his most recent fundraiser in D.C. is one of the most prolific Senate fundraisers we’ve seen in recent memory.
The evening event featured 28 senators, including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Majority Whip John Cornyn. Sponsor levels ran up to $5,000 for PACs and $2,500 for individuals. The reception featured 67 hosts and sponsors were on the bill, including 32 PACs.
Some of the notable sponsors include the following:
AT&T – who has hosted over 75 congressional fundraisers
Bloomin’ Brands – which owns Bonefish Grill, Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Fleming’s Steakhouse and Outback Steakhouse
NFL – GridIron PAC
U.S. Cuba Democracy PAC
U.S. Chamber PAC
Rubio needs to raise significantly more resources than his current war chest if he expects to compete come November. But when Taco PAC has your back, you can’t really lose.
Marco Rubio. (Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr)Tweet
Two presidential candidates are all but ready to declare victory as their party’s nominees. But they’re not waiting until the conventions to fundraise through their Victory Funds.
Want to become a Hillstarter? $27,000. Hillraiser? $50,000 Hillblazer? $100,000.
Donald Trump has his own benefits package.
Want to give $15,000? You’re now one of Trump’s Eagles.
Want to give $2,700? You’re now aboard the Trump Train.
McCutcheon vs. FEC, building on Citizens United vs. FEC, ruled that limiting aggregate contributions an individual can make to national parties and federal candidate committees is unconstitutional. Thus, such vessels make high-dollar fundraisers as easy as unregulated super PACs.
For the past few election cycles, joint fundraising committees (JFCs) have become commonplace once a party’s nominee is known. Based on Sunlight’s previous reporting, we know that a single donor can give $358,880 to the Hillary Victory fund. The money is dispersed through the following channels: $5,400 to Hillary for America, $33,400 to the DNC general account, and $320,000 to 32 state parties ($10,000 to each). The JFC officially formed on September 10, 2015 and Clinton attended her first Victory Fund event in early December of 2015.
These Victory funds don’t usually pop up until after the nomination is locked. However, Clinton attended her first Victory fundraiser in December of 2015 and benefited from hundreds of Hillary for America fundraisers beforehand. Barack Obama’s Victory fund was created in June of 2008 – just five months before the election. As of December 31, 2012, Obama’s Victory Fund raised $456 million and Mitt Romney’s Victory Fund raised $493 million.
By comparison, Donald Trump’s Trump Victory Committee fund held its first event on May 24, 2016. A single donor can give up to $449,400 to Trump’s JFC through the following channels: $5,400 to Trump for President, $33,400 to the RNC general account, $100,200 to the RNC legal account, $100,200 to the RNC convention account, $100,200 to the RNC headquarters account, and $11,000 to 11 state parties.
At Political Party Time, we strive to provide the most comprehensive public-facing database for elected official fundraisers. Please share any invitations you find by anonymously uploading or emailing them to us here. For a look into the rest of this week’s parties and beyond, check out our calendar of events here. Send us your comments here, or tweet at @SFPartyTime.
“Lobbyists and career politicians make up the Washington Cartel.” Ted Cruz
“I think we need to have more low-dollar efforts here [in this] country. You know, having a handful of billionaires that can basically, with special interest, [the fact that] they can kind of buy an election is something that bothers me.” John Kasich
Despite their rhetoric, campaign cash from lobbyists served as catalysts to keep Ted Cruz and John Kasich afloat. They vied to be the alternative to Donald Trump; now they’re watching the postseason from their couches. Let’s look back at the last two presidential candidates to concede.
While lawmakers frequently fundraise with high-profile donors, many hosts are “consultants” or “advisors” at special interest groups. Here, we only use the term “lobbyist” if it is in their official title or if they are registered as such.
Governor of Ohio John Kasich at NH FITN 2016, Photo Credit: Michael Vadon, Flickr
The Ohio governor’s moderate agenda led to just a moderate amount of votes throughout the GOP primaries. Holding just 18 fundraisers – according to our Party Time database – during his presidential run, Kasich couldn’t muster much support after winning his home state of Ohio.
Kasich’s first fundraiser of his presidential bid occurred almost one year ago on May 20, 2015. Paul Singer, a hedge fund manager and registered lobbyist with Elliott Management, hosted the luncheon. Singer is the third-largest donor to outside groups this election cycle, donating about $10.5 million to Republicans.
Kasich’s Aqua Al 2 fundraiser — the eighth-busiest fundraising venue in the D.C. area – featured:
—Tina Jonas, a lobbyist for CIS (which advocates for a bolstered military)
—Kerry Knott, former Comcast VP
— Lisa Piraneo, a lobbyist wanting to rid the country of “radical Islam”
— Mike Rock, a transportation lobbyist
— Stewart Young, a lobbyist against net neutrality
Kasich’s first fundraiser of 2016 was at the home of Kevin Mandia in California. The event also featured at least three additional lobbyists, including:
Kasich spent the next day in Los Angeles dining with Ron Burkle, co-owner of the Pittsburgh Penguins and lobbyist for the manufacturing industry. In preparation for the Georgia primary, Kasich held a fundraiser in the Peach State with:
— Michael J. Coles, former CEO of Caribou coffee and former CEO of Great American Cookie Company
— John Dancu, president and CEO of Idology, registered lobbyist
— Charles Kuck, leader of Kuck Immigration Partners LLC, lobbying for permissive immigration laws
— William Woodall, lobbyist for Georgia Carry, a Second Amendment advocacy group
Kasich later fundraised in Gulfport, Miss., with more than a dozen hosts from the fields of nursing, anesthesiology and health care. Some of the hosts included:
In the Big Apple, Kasich fundraised with Harry Sloan, CEO of Global Eagle Acquisition Corp. and former CEO of MGM.
Days before his big — and only — primary victory in Ohio, Kasich fundraised with Bill Smithburg, former CEO of Quaker Oats.
Kasich fundraised a month later at the home of former New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman, now a lobbyist at Whitman Strategy Group, and with Lawrence Bathgate, a fundraiser and donor for former presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.
Kasich then traveled to Connecticut to see:
— Barbara Franklin, a former secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce
— Bob Forrester, CEO of the Newman’s Own Foundation
— Jim Loree, president of Stanley Black & Decker
— Kevin O’Connor, former U.S. attorney for Connecticut
Ted Cruz at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, DC, Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore, Flickr
Everything’s bigger in Texas, including the donors. According to Party Time, Ted Cruz centered most of his fundraisers in his home state of Texas, with 12 of his 33 fundraisers taking place there, five in New York City (where he spoke ill of their values) and five in D.C. with the “Washington cartel” he campaigned to upend.
One of his first fundraisers in Houston included several fossil fuel advocates. Cruz fundraised with more than 20 oil and gas lobbyists and consultants throughout the election cycle, including:
— Charles “Chuck” Cooper, lawyer at Cooper & Kirk PLLC, lead legal defense of California’s Proposition 8, and counsel to the National Rifle Association
— Brady Edwards, partner at Morgan Lewis, gave $10,800 to Cruz’s campaign
— David Grimes, founder of TortSmart, LLC, an oil and gas company
— Willie Langston, Cruz’s finance chairman, previously worked for Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley; currently, he’s a founding partner and chairman of Avalon Advisors, and has donated to Cruz 14 times for a total of $17,550
— Rebekah Mercer, daughter of Robert Mercer, who donated $11 million to Ted Cruz’s Keep The Promise PAC
— Cary McNair, vice chairman of the McNair Group and son of Houston Texans owner Bob McNair, who gave $5,400 to Cruz’s campaign and half a million dollars to his PAC Keep the Promise.
Cruz even fundraised in blue Austin, Texas, with John Paul DeJoria, co-founder of Paul Mitchell hair care products.
His San Antonio event featured Red McCombs, billionaire co-founder of Clear Channel Communications, chairman of Constellis Group, former owner of the San Antonio Spurs, Denver Nuggets and the Minnesota Vikings, and the namesake of the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas.
A reception in Dallas featured two more of the Lone Star State’s most powerful players:
— William Alvin “Tex” Moncrief, Jr.: billionaire president of Moncrief Oil, who donated $50,000 to Keep the Promise PAC I
— Tom Hicks, who co-founded the investment firm, Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst; previously co-owned the English football club Liverpool F.C.; and chairman of Hicks Holdings LLC, which owns and operates Hicks Sports Group, the company that formerly owned the Texas Rangers, the Dallas Stars and the Mesquite Championship Rodeo
Another Houston fundraiser featured Willie Langston, Cruz’s finance chairman, who previously worked for Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, and who currently is a founding partner and chairman of Avalon Advisors. Langston has donated to cruz 14 times for $17,550.
In addition to Ilya Shapiro, editor-in-chief of Cato Supreme Court Review, many other associates from Jones Day fundraised with the Texas senator.
Although Cruz decried Wall Street money and linked Hillary Clinton’s corruption with her unreleased speeches, he benefited from at least four fundraisers with prominent donors, including Joseph Konzelmann, a Goldman Sachs managing director, as well as Ken and Nina Abramowitz, whose family is one of the top contributors for campaign contributions.
The DNC recently reversed their ban on lobbyists donations. Donald Trump didn’t appear in our fundraising database as a beneficiary until last week. Now that both sides are down to party with special interests, lobbyists may FINALLY have their voices heard, one donation at a time.Tweet
While Hillary Clinton’s weathered her fair share of scandals, it seems she’s finally encountered one that could actually boost her political career. The cast of “Scandal,” ABC’s drama about a cheating president and his mistress, is supporting the former secretary of state at a $5,000 per-person fundraiser today in Washington, D.C.
While the program’s star, Kerry Washington, won’t attend, she previously showed her support when HRC visited the Los Angeles set of Scandal in February. Washington instagrammed an #imwithher selfie with the Democratic frontrunner.
Shonda Rhimes, the show’s creator, starred in Clinton campaign ads and has a history of supporting liberal causes. She previously maxed-out to Hillary Clinton in 2007, and has given big to the Democratic National Committee twice — $33,400 in 2015 and $32,400 in 2014.
The full list of hosts include actors Tony Goldwyn, Guillermo Diaz, Katie Lowes, Jeff Perry, Bellamy Young, as well as Clinton advisors Jake Sullivan and Huma Abedin.
While Clinton won’t be in attendance, Abedin and Sullivan will stand in. Both are in the midst of their own scandal, with an FBI investigation regarding classified files while they were aides to Clinton at the Department of State.
Hillary’s Hollywood endorsements continue to grow – with her most recent high-profile fundraiser with George and Amal Clooney. With the Democratic nomination getting closer and closer, she has plenty of reasons to party on.
The Donald openly admits to his contributions on both sides of the aisle, but his past beneficiaries may surprise you. From the founder of Jimmy John’s to Henry Kissinger, here’s whom Trump has fundraised with in the past seven years.
— He partnered with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie — who eventually became a presidential opponent-turned-supporter of Trump — two years ago to fundraise for Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, who also went on to endorse Trump, at the Trump National Golf Club.
— Trump teamed up with former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani to help elect Pam Bondi, the Republican Florida attorney general, at a Palm Beach, Fla., fundraiser.
— Iowa Rep. Steve King, R, enjoyed Trump’s fundraising prowess in 2014, only to endorse Ted Cruz for the 2016 election.
— Trump fundraised for the Republican Party of Palm Beach County at the Lincoln Day Dinner, again featuring Christie as well as conservative radio host Laura Ingraham, a Trump supporter.
— Just last week, Donald hosted a fundraiser for the Suffolk County Republicans in New York.
Not all his fundraising goes to “winners”
While Trump claims he always wins, some of Trump’s fundraisers benefitted “losers.”
— Trump fundraised for Florida Gov. Charlie Crist in 2009, who lost his Senate race to Marco Rubio. Trump also donated to Crist’s campaign multiple times.
— Donald hosted a fundraiser in his New York City home for Tea Party Rep. Allen B. West, Fla., who went on to become a conservative commentator after losing his re-election bid in 2012.
Throwing presidential parties
And while Trump hasn’t officially ran for president until this election, he’s been involved in presidential fundraising in the past.
— Mitt Romney created a “Dine with The Donald” event where donors could contribute as little as $10 and be entered to win a seat at Trump’s table.
— Just a month before the 2012 presidential election, Trump hosted a massive retreat benefiting presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Other notable names on the billing included Mayor Rudy Giuliani who recently, sort of, endorsed Donald Trump, Jimmy John Liautaud (founder of Jimmy John’s subs), comedian Dennis Miller, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, and businessman and investor Charles Schwab.
And even when Trump wasn’t in attendance for his fundraisers, his properties were the prime venue for fundraisers.
— His golf club in Virginia hosted the 32nd Annual Tip O’Neill Golf Tournament for the National Democratic Club, as well as a fundraiser for Indiana Republican Gov. Mike Pence, who has endorsed Trump.
— His tower in Stamford, Conn., was used to support another Romney fundraiser with Henry Kissinger.
— He also lent his hotel in Las Vegas for a Romney event in 2012 which charged up to $250,000 to chair.
— His tower in NYC was used to host a fundraiser for former Rep. Silvestre Reyes, D-Texas.
— Trump’s International Tower in Chicago played host to a funder for ex-Rep. Melissa Bean, D-Ill.
Even his daughter, Ivanka, hosted a fundraiser with her husband Jared Kushner, owner of Kushner Properties and the New York Observer, at their home for then-Senate candidate Cory Booker back in 2013.
Lastly, of course, here are the fundraisers Party Time has benefiting Trump himself…Tweet
Beneficiary: congressional candidate, lawmaker, or entity which collects funds raised at party
Host: person who is hosting party-often, but not always, a registered federal lobbyist
Venue Name: where the party is
Entertainment Type: type of gathering, such as "breakfast," "ski trip," "bowling"
Other Lawmakers Mentioned: lawmakers mentioned on invitation who are used as a draw for the event
Sunlight's Party Time is a project to track parties for members of Congress or congressional candidates that happen all year round in Washington, D.C. and beyond. (read more)
We also post information we receive about parties where members of Congress are expected to participate—such as convention or inaugural parties.
Since we don't hear about all the parties, you can also tell us if you know where the party is and we don't.