With so much mud being slung from all directions in this circus of an election, it’s often hard to separate fact from fiction. However, on one particular topic there is little doubt. When it comes to the big money crowd, they are definitely “with her.”
The Wall Street Journal reports:
Not a single registered lobbyist has raised a substantial amount of money for Republican nominee Donald Trump‘s campaign, according to campaign-finance disclosures filed over the weekend.
Democrat Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, has drawn more than $20 million over the course of her race for her campaign and joint Democratic Party accounts through funds raised by registered lobbyists, according to her disclosures.
Campaigns and joint party accounts are required to disclose to the Federal Election Commission the names of registered lobbyists who raise more than $17,600. The latest disclosures cover the period through September.
Mr. Trump has spent more than a year railing against Washington lobbyists and the “special interests” they represent. Yet leaders of his transition team have held a series of meetings with industry lobbyists to prepare for a possible victory next month, the Washington Post reported.
On top of the financial cost of alienating lobbyists—which comes as Mr. Trump entered October with half as much cash in the bank as Mrs. Clinton—Mr. Trump also loses the broader network lobbyists’ support brings. Lobbyists are connected to a wide range of corporate clients who both have deep pockets and carry plenty of influence.
“We have specifically not recruited lobbyists to raise money as Mr. Trump has always said he would not be beholden to special interests that control Washington, D.C., and our failed politicians,” said Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks. “This is a movement about the people and it will continue to be if he is elected president.”
This year, lawyers and lobbyists donated nearly $30 million to Mrs. Clinton through August and just $830,000 to Mr. Trump, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.
On top of the legally required FEC disclosures, Mrs. Clinton also posts and regularly updates a list of donors who have raised $100,000 or more for her campaign. Mr. Trump hasn’t disclosed any bundlers for his campaign, and a spokeswoman has said he doesn’t plan to do so.
Of course, this just adds icing to the cake of a trend I’ve been writing about all year. For example, recall what we learned last month in the post, Wall Street Goes “All In” for Hillary Clinton:
Hedge fund moguls are pouring stunning amounts of cash into the main super-PAC supporting Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.
Citing data from the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, the Wall Street Journal reported in July that “seven financial firms alone have generated $47.6 million for groups working on Mrs.Clinton’s behalf.”
The comparable amount raised for Trump at that time was $19,000. And though his haul from the financial industry has increased substantially by now, it still pales in comparison to Clinton’s.
It’s not just big money though. In an article published today by The Center for Public Integrity, we learned how lopsided journalists’ political donations have been:
In all, people identified in federal campaign finance filings as journalists, reporters, news editors or television news anchors — as well as other donors known to be working in journalism — have combined to give more than $396,000 to the presidential campaigns of Clinton and Trump, according to a Center for Public Integrity analysis.
Nearly all of that money — more than 96 percent — has benefited Clinton: About 430 people who work in journalism have, through August, combined to give about $382,000 to the Democratic nominee, the Center for Public Integrity’s analysis indicates.
About 50 identifiable journalists have combined to give about $14,000 to Trump. (Talk radio ideologues, paid TV pundits and the like — think former Trump campaign manager-turned-CNN commentator Corey Lewandowski — are not included in the tally.)
Generally, the law obligates federal candidates only to disclose the names of people making contributions of more than $200 during a single election cycle, along with their addresses and employer and occupation. That means it’s likely that many more journalists have given the Clinton or Trump campaigns cash, but in amounts too small to trigger reporting requirements.
Together, these journalist-donors work for news organizations great and small, from The New York Times to sleepy, small-town dailies. While many of them don’t primarily edit or report on political news, some do.
Media executives are also often free from corporate policies restricting political donations, and some prominent news publishers and newsroom leaders routinely make campaign contributions.
Damien Brouillard, the Washington Post’s director of finance and comptroller, for example, is among those helping fund Clinton’s presidential campaign.
So, too, are former New Republic Publisher Chris Hughes, Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour, Vanity Fair Features Editor Jane Sarkin, Hollywood Reporter Publisher Lynne Segall, ElleEditor-in-Chief Roberta Myers and Lesley Jane Seymour, the former editor-in-chief of Moreand Marie Clare. Each has given Clinton at least $2,700. Some aren’t shy about it, with Hughes, who also co-founded Facebook, conducting a fundraiser for Clinton last year at his Manhattan home.
So how do Trump campaign officials feel about journalists and media executives giving money to Clinton?
“Considering that we’re witnessing the single biggest coordinated media attack in political history, it should come as no surprise,” Trump spokesman Jason Miller told the Center for Public Integrity. “If the [Federal Election Commission] viewed their biased hit pieces against Mr. Trump as in-kind contributions, they would have exceeded their maximum allowable gift limits a long time ago.”
An election worthy of the Banana Republic we have become.