Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Follow the Democrat Money

I my last blog post I looked at where the money is coming from for the Republican Presidential candidates.

Let's now take a look at the Democrats---Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.

"Follow the money" has become a catchphrase to describe the money trail that leads to those running (or in political office) their benefactors.

Under the tax law a gift is usually defined as the proceeds of "detached and disinterested generosity". The motivation for gifts are "affection, respect, admiration, charity or like impulses". A true gift is given with no expectation of getting anything back in return.

The reality of political contributions is that there is a usually an inverse relationship between the amount of the contribution to a candidate and the degree to which the donor is "detached and disinterested".  Simply stated, as the dollars contributed increase the motivation for giving starts to tilt more to an interest in influence than affection and admiration for the candidate.

With this as background I thought it would be interesting to look at the 2016 Presidential Campaign Finance reports of the major candidates to give you an idea of the trail of money from donor to candidate. All of this information is from the Federal Election Commission unless otherwise noted.

For simplicity, I am only looking at campaign contributions without including Super PAC contributions for each candidate. Super PAC money is officially outside the control of the candidate and is generally used for advertising. The candidate's campaign committee money is the real lifeblood of the campaign as all staff salaries, travel, consultants, etc. come out of these funds. When this money dries up, the candidate is finished. Witness Scott Walker and Rick Perry.

$269.5 million has been contributed to campaign committees of the candidate of both parties to this point--- $147.3 million to Republicans and $122.2 million to Democrats.

Hillary Clinton has raised $76.1 million compared to $41.2 million for Sanders.  To put that in context, those two have raised more than the top six GOP candidates (Carson, Cruz, Bush, Rubio, Paul, Fiorina) combined!  Aren't we told the Republicans are the party of the rich?

64% of Hillary's contributions are from those who gave $2,000 or more. A mere 2% of Bernie's contributions came from those large contributors.

On the other hand, 82% of Bernie's contributions came from those who gave $200 and under compared to 21% in that group who funded Clinton's campaign coffers.

Almost half of Hillary's money came from New York, California, metro DC (District of Columbia, Virginia and Maryland).  There is little question that she is deeply tied in with insiders on Wall Street, K Street and Hollywood Boulevard.

Bernie Sanders has raised more money in California ($2.1m) than in other state. In fact, he has not raised over $1 million in one other state. There are a lot of Socialists in California as if we did not already know that.

There are not as many in North Dakota ($6,508), Delaware ($7,937) or Wyoming ($8,300) apparently.

This gives you a perspective on where Hillary and Bernie have been raising money.

Although Clinton has raised $35 million more than Sanders, at 9/30/15 she had only about $5 million more in cash on hand than he did. Therefore, Bernie has funding to stay around for awhile in this race.

Lawyers are the biggest givers to Hillary's campaign. Of the 20 largest employer groups represented by Hillary's individual contributors, 8 are large law firms. Employees of Harvard, Yale and the University of California also made the top 20 as did Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan Chase and Bank of America.

Retirees are Bernie Sanders' largest group of contributors followed by those in Education. I am sure there are many professors who have been proud to have contributed to the socialist progressive cause. However, employees of Google (now Alphabet, Inc.), Microsoft and Apple are three of the top five employers of Bernie's contributors. The other two? The University of California and Columbia University.

Interestingly, in my home state of Ohio Bernie's largest contributor group was "Unemployed" per a recent article in the Cincinnati Enquirer. I kid you not.

All I can say is that these contributors might not have any work earnings coming in but they are certainly willing to "invest"in their future with Bernie.

If you "Follow the Money" in politics, everything makes sense.

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