Isn’t it odd that so many superdelegates gave their vote to Hillary Clinton before the race even started? Why would that be? We’re not trying to do the whole tinfoil hat thing here; it’s just that a superdelegate doesn’t have to declare who their vote will be for until the actual day of the convention, so why were so many of them rushing to cast their votes?
It turns out that many of these superdelegates are members of their State Democratic Parties, which makes sense: superdelegates are, by design, supposed to be party elites. Remember, the Presidency isn’t the only job opening this fall; 88% of Congress is up for grabs as well, with 34 Senate seats and all 435 House seats up for election (sidebar: why do people keep saying Bernie and/or Trump couldn’t push anything through Congress when we have a chance to change almost the entire makeup of Congress? Anyway…)
So that means that a lot of superdelegates are running their own election campaigns right now, too. And these superdelegates are dependent on the party itself for support and funding to suppor their campaigns. And as it turns out, in this particular cycle, all the money for those re-election efforts has in many cases been provided by Hillary Clinton herself.
Here’s how it went down (quoted from counterpunch.com, all emphases ours)
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 candidate.
In other words, a single donor, by giving $10,000 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…
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…
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.
Wild how so much of this stuff goes back to Citizen’s United. No matter how you seem to slice every injustice in our political system, it always seems to come back to the same thing: Money in Politics. We’ve got a lot of work to do.
Wanna fight back? Click here: bit.ly/NixTheSuperDelegates