: How Hillary Clinton Bought the Loyalty of 33 State Democratic Parties - by Margot Kidder
: This article is printed in the interest of The National
: Security of The United States
: April 1, 2016
: “It’s worse than wicked, my dear, it’s vulgar”
: Punch Almanac, 1876
: Collusion between the Clinton campaign and the DNC allowed
: Hillary Clinton to buy the loyalty of 33 state Democratic
: parties last summer. Montana was one of those states. It
: sold itself for $64,100.
: The Super Delegates now defying democracy with their insistent
: refusal to change their votes to Sanders in spite of a
: handful of overwhelming Clinton primary losses in their own
: states, were arguably part of that deal.
: In August 2015, at the Democratic Party convention in
: Minneapolis, 33 democratic state parties made deals with
: the Hillary Clinton campaign and a joint fundraising entity
: called The Hillary Victory Fund. The deal allowed many of
: her core billionaire and inner circle individual donors to
: run the maximum amounts of money allowed through those
: state parties to the Hillary Victory Fund in New York and
: the DNC in Washington.
: The idea was to increase how much one could personally donate
: to Hillary by taking advantage of the Supreme Court ruling
: 2014, McCutcheon v FEC, that knocked down a cap on
: aggregate limits as to how much a donor could give to a
: federal campaign in a year. It thus eliminated the ceiling
: on amounts spent by a single donor to a presidential
: In other words, a single donor, by giving 10,000 dollars a
: year to each signatory state could legally give an extra
: $330,000 a year for two years to the Hillary Victory Fund.
: For each donor, this raised their individual legal cap on
: the Presidential campaign to $660,000 if given in both 2015
: and 2016. And to one million, three hundred and 20 thousand
: dollars if an equal amount were also donated in their
: spouse’s name.
: From these large amounts of money being transferred from state
: coffers to the Hillary Victory Fund in Washington, the
: Clinton campaign got the first $2,700, the DNC was to get
: the next $33,400, and the remainder was to be split among
: the 33 signatory states. With this scheme, the Hillary
: Victory Fund raised over $26 million for the Clinton
: Campaign by the end of 2015.
: The money was either transferred to the Hillary for America or
: Forward Hillary PACs and spent directly on the Hillary
: Clinton Campaign, often paying the salaries and expenses
: within those groups, or it was moved into the DNC or
: another Clinton PAC. Some of it was spent towards managing
: the Hillary merchandise store, where you can buy Hillary T
: shirts and hats and buttons.
: The fund is administered by treasurer Elizabeth Jones, the
: Clinton Campaign’s chief operating officer. Ms. Jones has
: the exclusive right to decide when transfers of money to
: and from the Hillary Victory Fund would be made to the
: state parties.
: One could reasonably infer that the tacit agreement between
: the signatories was that the state parties and the Hillary
: Clinton Campaign would act in unity and mutual support. And
: that the super-delegates of these various partner states
: would either pledge loyalty to Clinton, or, at the least,
: not endorse Senator Sanders. Not only did Hillary’s
: multi-millionaire and billionaire supporters get to bypass
: individual campaign donation limits to state parties by
: using several state parties apparatus, but the Clinton
: campaign got the added bonus of buying that state’s
: super-delegates with the promise of contributions to that
: Democratic organization’s re-election fund.
: If a presidential campaign from either party can convince
: various state parties to partner with it in such a way as
: to route around any existing rules on personal donor limits
: and at the same time promise money to that state’s
: potential candidates, then the deal can be sold as a way of
: making large monetary promises to candidates and
: Super-delegates respectable.
: The leadership of a very broke Montana Democratic Party
: decided in August of 2015 that this was a seductive deal
: they were willing to make. And by the end of that year
: scores of 10,000 donations came in from out of state.
: Montana’s list of out of state donors to the state campaign
: reads like a Who’s Who of the Democratic financial elites.
: The names vary little from the list of high donors to the
: other 32 states that signed on to the Hillary Victory Fund.
: What do billionaires like Esprit Founder Susie Buell of
: California, and businessman Imaad Zuberi of California, and
: media mogul Fred Eychaner of Chicago, and Donald Sussman
: hedgefund manager from New York and Chicago real estate
: mogul J.B Pritzker, and gay activist Jon Stryker of NY, and
: NRA and Viacom lobbyist Jeffrey Forbes and entertainment
: mogul Haim Saban all have in common?
: They all appear to be brilliant business people who have all
: given millions to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign
: and to her various PACS. And they all gave the Montana
: State Democratic Party $10,000 each in 2015. It is doubtful
: that many of them have any interest in Montana politics, or
: that they have even bothered to visit.
: None of these are awful people; they are simply awfully rich.
: And they like their friend Hillary and want her to be the
: president. And if some of their millions will buy her way
: into the White House then so be it. None of this is
: illegal. But it makes a mockery of Ms. Clinton’s pledge to
: further the cause of campaign finance reform.
: And the Hillary Victory Fund’s marriage of convenience with
: the Montana party negates Governor Steve Bullock’s eloquent
: insistence that he will do anything necessary to overturn
: Citizen’s United. And the coldness of the deal’s intention
: of doing anything it can to further Hillary Clinton’s
: chances for becoming President brings Senator Jon Tester’s
: stated neutrality in the Democratic primary into a sharp
: and unflatteringly hypocritical focus.
: One doubts that most of these one percenters adore fly
: fishing. Or care much about mountain climbing, or skiing,
: or collecting morel mushrooms along the edges of the
: Yellowstone river in the fall. We can safely assume that
: they will not be raising buffalo for meat in the near
: future, or buying an organic farm next to Senator Jon
: Tester’s. In fact we can probably assume that most of them
: have never been to Montana.
: And one doubts if many of them care or not if Governor Steve
: Bullock will get re-elected or will be replaced with a
: creationist businessman named Greg Gianforte whose family
: gave $1.5 million to a creationist museum in Glendive,
: Montana that proudly displays a man riding a dinosaur as if
: it were a rodeo horse.
: That outsiders could make their votes count for more than our
: own in our Presidential primary by supporting a system that
: is rigged in favour of the wishes of lobbyists and
: billionaires running their money through our state
: democratic party coffers is a concept that most Montanans
: would be repulsed by.
: Yet it is inconceivable that not only did the state’s
: chairperson, Nancy Keenan, approve the deal, but that both
: Governor Steve Bullock and Democratic senator Jon Tester
: approved it as well. It directly affects the funding of
: both of their campaigns, now and in 2018.
: I have yet to hear back from any Montana democratic office
: holders that they have even heard of the Hillary Victory
: Fund. Monica Lindeen, the State Auditor, has never heard of
: it. A couple of county Chair persons have never heard of
: it. Jean Dahlman, a feisty independent thinker and a ranch
: woman who is on the executive committee of the state party
: has never heard of it. And when I wrote Jonathan Motl, the
: man in charge of the Office of Political Practices and a
: demon for making sure our state laws about contributions
: are enforced, he did not get back to me. So I am assuming
: he has never heard of it either. Who was in on this? No one
: seems willing to tell.
: In Montana, a state where one third of voters identify as
: independents, and where it is imperative that Democratic
: candidates for public office win some votes from both
: Republicans and Independents in order to get elected, it
: seems peculiar that the Montana State Democratic Party
: would make a deal with the Hillary Clinton campaign months
: before the national primaries were underway, given that
: there is a very real and proud tradition of political
: independence in Montana. Being told who to vote for in a
: primary by your party’s big wigs is not part of that
: tradition. Any collusion by a Montana national candidate
: with the Hillary Clinton campaign before a primary was
: held, and the votes counted, could potentially be
: politically suicidal.
: The agreement with the Hillary Victory Fund and the DNC could
: solve some of the Montana State Democratic Party’s
: financial problems while simultaneously funding several
: state and federal candidates. But the scheme would only
: make sense as a benefit to the parties involved if the
: money raised actually stayed in the states that received
: the initial checks. This did not happen.
: The Alaska Democratic party, in its end of the year filing
: with the FEC, said it raised $43,500 from the Hillary
: Victory Fund with 10,000.00 dollar donations from Clinton
: friends and billionaires, including hedge fund manage S
: Donald Sussman, and Hyatt Hotel heir JB Pritzker. ( two of
: the several $10,000 donors to the Montana State Democratic
: Party) . But in the same report it said it transferred the
: same amount of money, $43,500 back to the DNC – . a
: technically legal move that effectively obliterates federal
: limits on donations to the national committee.
: “It just becomes a way to funnel more to the DNC to support
: the Clinton Campaign”, said Paul S. Ryan, deputy executive
: director of the Campaign Legal Centre, which advocates for
: campaign finance reform. “It’s effectively Hillary
: Clinton’s team soliciting Hillary Clinton’s supporters for
: much bigger checks than they can give to the campaign.”
: The same thing happened with the Maine State Democratic Party
: with many of the same billionaire donors. Maine attracted
: many of Clinton’s biggest donors. But the contributions
: didn’t stay in Maine either, or in any of the other state
: democratic parties to which Hillary Victory Fund donations
: have been funneled. In October and November two transfers
: totaling 39,000 from the Hillary Victory Fund to the Maine
: Democratic party sat for less than 48 hours before the same
: amounts were transferred to the DNC in Washington.
: The Montana State Democratic party received $43,500 dollars
: from the Hillary Victory Fund on November 2, 2015. Yet on
: that same day it transferred $43,500 back to the Democratic
: National Committee in Washington. And on December 1, 2015
: it received another $20,600 from the Hillary Victory fund.
: And on the same day the Montana State Democratic Party sent
: that exact same amount, $20,600, back to the DNC in
: Washington as well, an entity that has not bothered to
: disguise its preference for a Hillary Clinton candidacy
: over that of a Bernie Sanders one.
: By November 2015, 22 of the state parties linked to the
: Hillary Victory Fund have received $938,500 from the fund
: and sent the same amount back to the DNC. There is no limit
: to amounts of money transferred between state and national
: parties and PACS or Funds.
: (Obama had a similar fund in 2008, but not until he had
: already won enough delegates to be sure he would be the
: The Democratic spokespeople for the17 states that refused to
: go along with the Clinton campaign’s plan, even though many
: of them were as broke as the Montana State Democratic Party
: was (Nebraska springs to mind), were clear that it seemed
: less than democratic to be choosing sides in a primary that
: hadn’t happened yet. That the very purpose of a primary was
: to let the people choose which candidate they wanted to
: represent them and to not let the party establishment load
: the dice in their own favour. They made it obvious that
: they were choosing democracy over kick-backs.
: “A joint fundraising committee linking Hillary Clinton to the
: national Democratic Party and 33 state parties is routing
: money through those state parties and back into the coffers
: of the Clinton campaign and all its PACS and Funds” “It is
: a highly unusual arraignment if only because presidential
: candidates do not normally enter into fundraising
: agreements with their party’s committees until after they
: actually win the nomination. And second, Clinton’s
: fundraising committee is the first since the Supreme
: Court’s 2014 McCutcheon v FEC decision eliminated aggregate
: contribution limits and congress increased party
: contribution limits in the 2014 omnibus budget bill” said
: Paul Blumenthal, a writer for The Huffington Post.
: A loud article in the NYT in March proclaiming that elected
: officials in 22 states would not support Bernie Sanders
: conveniently left out that those 22 states had signed
: agreements with the Hillary Clinton campaign and the
: Hillary Victory Fund.
: What it really does is seriously handicap the Democratic
: Primary Race. Every one of the states charging electoral
: interference by the Clinton campaign is a state that made a
: deal with the Hillary Victory Fund. Insinuations of
: conspiracies are unprovable in these cases. But the
: perception of fraud and corruption is glaring and damaging.
: What the Clinton campaign appears to be in stunning denial
: about is that most of us “regular folks” (a revolting term
: used with growing frequency these days) are not burdened
: with an inability to confuse morality with legality.
: Corruption is corruption is corruption no matter how many
: laws there are allowing it. Very few brilliant business
: people give presidential candidates upwards of six million
: dollars without expecting something in return. There is a
: reason they are brilliant business people. Throwing away
: millions of dollars for nothing is not one of them
: Most state democratic parties don’t want Campaign Finance
: Reform. They feel they can’t afford it. Many local
: politicians become terrified of voicing support for
: alternative candidates out of fear of being cut off the
: Democratic Party gravy train.
: The psychological damage of the Hillary Victory Fund, the
: inference by its very existence that every vote is not
: equal, has had a dampening effect on older Democrats. The
: perception that most Democrats support Hillary, and that
: she is the most reliable candidate to defeat a Trump or a
: Cruz in the fall is felt by every journalist, every
: newspaper opinion writer and every television current
: affairs show, and is absorbed by the consumers of that
: news. When you have lobbyists for the big media giants,
: such as Fyeed Eychancer of Newsweb, or Viacom lawyer and
: lobbyist Steve Forbes, giving money to the Hillary Victory
: Fund through the state of Montana, the rot in the system is
: laid bare.
: Here in Montana, a politically vibrant state with a heady mix
: of Republicans and Democrats and Independents and
: Libertarians, not one single Democratic official up for
: election will openly support Bernie Sanders in the
: Democratic primary. They all say exactly the same thing:
: “I’m not going to endorse anyone until after the primary.”
: Which has as much meaning as saying you are not going to
: vote until after the election.
: This is the state that brought the entire American union
: movement to the West, back when Butte was a thriving mining
: town and corrupt copper barons ran the state. It’s a state
: in which miners fought and died for the right to have
: unions. It’s a state in which we had, until Citizen’s
: United, the first and only state law that expressly forbade
: corporate expenditures on elections.
: You can’t win an election as a Democrat in Montana without the
: Native American vote. You have to win Butte, a mighty
: monument to the working man and Democratic to its very
: core. You have to win the artsy types and the students in
: Missoula, the writers in Livingston and the oilmen in
: Billings and the ranchers in the east. You can’t be all
: things to all men, so you have to be real. You have to be
: honest because word spreads fast in a small but tight
: population like Montana and if your word is no good,
: neither are you.
: But most importantly, you can’t win an election in Montana if
: you don’t acknowledge and respect the pride Montanans have
: in their ability to think independently. Their courage to
: not follow the herd. Independence is a proud master.
: Our state party leadership signed a deal with a woman who out
: here, on our turf, possibly wouldn’t last a week. They
: signed away our unobstructed right to choose which
: Democratic candidate we supported for President. Given that
: we have 15 pledged delegates and seven superdelegates, we
: have lost our absolute right to have superdelegate
: endorsements proportional to the wishes of the primary
: For what? Sixty four thousand and one hundred dollars? Which
: we had to give back? That’s a pretty poor excuse for
: selling out our right to our own choice.
: Look, we know the deck is stacked, that Hillary and the DNC
: get all the face cards and that you’re dealing from the
: bottom of the deck. But just give us an ace from time to
: time, or maybe even a small straight. Don’t rub our
: hopelessness in our faces as if we are too dumb to know.
: You will pay for your contempt. If not this year, then the
: Recipient Party Type** Office Sought Total
: Clinton, Hillary D C Pres $4,440,000
: DNC Services Corp D P $2,263,436
: Democratic Party of Wisconsin D P $207,278
: Democratic Party of Oklahoma D P $140,000
: Democratic Party of New Hampshire D P $74,700
: Democratic Party of Pennsylvania D P $70,500
: Democratic Party of Texas D P $69,100
: Democratic Executive Cmte of Florida D P $66,200
: Democratic Party of Nevada D P $66,200
: Democratic Party of Colorado D P $66,000
: Democratic Party of Ohio D P $66,000
: Democratic Cmte of Utah D P $64,100
: Democratic Party of Alaska D P $64,100
: Democratic Party of Mississippi D P $64,100
: Democratic Party of Montana D P $64,100
: Democratic Party of Oregon D P $64,100
: Democratic Party of South Carolina D P $64,100
: Democratic Party of Tennessee D P $64,100
: Democratic State Cmte of Massachusetts D P $64,100
: Georgia Federal Elections Cmte D P $64,100
: Idaho State Democratic Party D P $64,100
: Michigan Democratic State Central Cmte D P $64,100
: Minnesota Democratic Farmer Labor Party D P $64,100
: Missouri Democratic State Cmte D P $64,100
: Rhode Island Democratic State Cmte D P $64,100
: West Virginia State Democratic Exec Cmte D P $64,100
: Wyoming State Democratic Central Cmte D P $64,100
: Democratic Party of North Carolina D P $64,000
: Democratic State Central Cmte/Louisiana D P $64,000
: Indiana Democratic Congressional Victory Cmte D P $64,000
: Democratic Party of Arkansas D P $63,000
: Maine Democratic State Cmte D P $59,800
: Democratic Party of Virginia D P $43,500
: Source: FEC