Hillary Clinton Is Crushing Donald Trump In The Money Race

Donald Trump has almost no cash on hand. That doesn't bode well for his campaign going forward.

campaign-money-parties

In yet another sign of how much trouble his campaign is in even at this early stage of the General Election campaign, campaign finance reports indicate that Hillary Clinton is absolutely killing Donald Trump in the money race, and it’s going to take a lot of work on Trump’s part to come even close to catching up to her:

Donald J. Trump enters the general election campaign laboring under the worst financial and organizational disadvantage of any major party nominee in recent history, placing both his candidacy and his party in political peril.

Mr. Trump began June with just $1.3 million in cash on hand, a figure more typical for a campaign for the House of Representatives than the White House. He trailed Hillary Clinton, who raised more than $28 million in May, by more than $41 million, according to reports filed late Monday night with the Federal Election Commission.

He has a staff of around 70 people — compared with nearly 700 for Mrs. Clinton — suggesting only the barest effort toward preparing to contest swing states this fall. And he fired his campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, on Monday, after concerns among allies and donors about his ability to run a competitive race.

The Trump campaign has not aired a television advertisement since he effectively secured the nomination in May and has not booked any advertising for the summer or fall. Mrs. Clinton and her allies spent nearly $26 million on advertising in June alone, according to the Campaign Media Analysis Group, pummeling Mr. Trump over his temperament, his statements and his mocking of a disabled reporter. The only sustained reply, aside from Mr. Trump’s gibes at rallies and on Twitter, has come from a pair of groups that spent less than $2 million combined.

Mr. Trump’s fund-raising for May reflects his lag in assembling the core of a national finance team. In the same month that he clinched the Republican nomination, Mr. Trump raised just $3.1 million and was forced to lend himself $2 million to meet costs. Some invitations to Trump fund-raising events have featured the same short list of national Republican finance volunteers regardless of what city the event is held in, suggesting Mr. Trump has had some trouble lining up local co-hosts.

A spokesman for Mr. Trump did not respond to an inquiry about the campaign’s spending plans. During an interview on Monday on CNN, Mr. Lewandowski defended the candidate’s bare-bones approach.

“We are leaner, meaner, more efficient, more effective. Get bigger crowds. Get better coverage,” Mr. Lewandowski said. “If this was the business world, people would be commending Mr. Trump for the way he’s run this campaign.”

But the shortfall is leaving Mr. Trump extraordinarily dependent on theRepublican National Committee, which has seen record fund-raising this campaign cycle and, long before Mr. Trump even declared his upstart candidacy, had begun investing heavily in a long-range plan to bolster the party’s technical and organizational capacity.

In a first for a major party nominee, Mr. Trump has suggested he will leave the crucial task of field organizing in swing states to the Republican National Committee, which typically relies on the party’s nominee to help fund, direct and staff national Republican political efforts. His decision threatens to leave the party with significant shortfalls of money and manpower: On Monday, the party reported raising $13 million during May, about a third of the money it raised in May 2012, when Mitt Romney led the ticket.

“It’s like a waterfall,” said Brian O. Walsh, a Republican campaign strategist. “There are things that have to happen, and someone has to pay for them.”

Mr. Trump’s cash crunch marks a stark reversal from the 2012 presidential campaign, which seemed to inaugurate a new era of virtually unlimited money in American politics, buoyed by the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision two years earlier. By the same point that year, President Obama and Mr. Romney were raising tens of millions of dollars per month with their parties. And while Mr. Romney faced a larger deficit overall against Mr. Obama in June 2012, he was raising far more money than Mr. Trump is now, with big donors flocking to his cause.

“The campaign has got to be the entity that’s out there driving the fund-raising car,” said Austin Barbour, a lobbyist who served as national finance co-chairman of the Romney campaign. “And it better be a big old Cadillac.”

More from The Washington Post:

Presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump loaned his campaign $2.2 million in May and collected $3.1 million in donations, ending the month with less than $1.3 million in bank, according to new campaign finance filings.

The real estate mogul’s meager cash flow spotlighted the urgent need for him to dramatically ramp up the fundraising he’s doing in conjunction with the Republican National Committee, a task he has fitfully embraced.

Trump’s small haul came as presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton continued to stockpile money: she raised more than $28 million in May and started June with $42 million in cash. Clinton brought in nearly a third of her campaign funds last month through the Hillary Victory Fund, a joint fundraising committee with the Democratic National Committee and 32 state parties.

The billionaire developer has now loaned his campaign a total of $45.7 million and given it another $400,000, while collecting $17 million in contributions. In late May, Trump set up two joint fundraising committees with the RNC, a move that was supposed to help him and the party tap into a gusher of cash. But GOP fundraisers have said it has been difficult to line up donors to bundle checks from their friends and family.

Amid criticism from fellow Republicans about his tone and provocative statements, Trump suggested over the weekend that he would “just keep funding my own campaign” if GOP leaders did not rally around his candidacy. However, it is unclear if he could access the hundreds of millions needed to finance a national campaign. He suggested in May that to do so, he would have to “sell a couple of buildings.”

Trump’s limited cash meant that he spent just $6.7 million in May, down from $9.4 million in April. Nearly $1 million went to purchase hats and other campaign merchandise, while another $838,000 was spent on travel. The campaign spent just $150,000 on media buys.

Clinton’s spending also ratcheted down last month after an intense buildup through the Democratic primaries. After shelling out nearly $29 million in March and almost $24 million in April, her presidential campaign committee spent just $13.7 million in May. The bulk of the money went to pay for the 683 staffers on payroll for the month, a cost of $3.8 million. The campaign spent $1.6 million on ad production and air time, and $1.6 million on travel.

To put these numbers in perspective, as things stand right now, or at least as they stood at the end of May when the last round of reports were filed, Donald Trump’s campaign has less cash on hand right now than now only Hillary Clinton, but also Ted Cruz and Ben Carson, neither of whom has been an active candidate for President for some time now. To a large degree, this is because Trump has eschewed engaging in extensive fundraising for the past month despite warnings from Republican National Committee and top Republican donors that time was running short in that regard and that Trump risked falling well behind Clinton in this important measure if he didn’t start following their advice. Perhaps most extraordinary, or maybe not depending on your point of view, is the fact that Trump has used his campaign to enrich his own companies to a degree seldom seen before:

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Donald Trump’s campaign likes to keep it in the family.

When Trump flies, he uses his airplane. When he campaigns, he often chooses his properties or his own Trump Tower in New York City, which serves as headquarters. His campaign even buys Trump bottled water and Trump wine.

The presumptive Republican presidential nominee has been on the campaign trail for a year now, and federal finance reports detail a campaign unafraid to co-mingle political and business endeavors in an unprecedented way — even as he is making appeals for donations.

Through the end of May, Trump’s campaign had plunged at least $6.2 million back into Trump corporate products and services, a review of Federal Election Commission filings shows. That’s about 10 percent of his total campaign expenditures.

Unlike in the primary when Trump touted his ability to pay his own way, he has been on an urgent fundraising quest for more than a month. His campaign began June with $1.3 million in the bank, compared with the $42 million presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton had amassed.

Wealthy political candidates in the past have walled off their business from their campaigns, but Trump embraces his companies. Public documents indicate his revenue has risen along with his presidential aspirations.

While Trump’s controversial comments have cost his businesses money — for example, the PGA Tour recently announced it would move its World Golf Championship from a Trump course to one in Mexico City — Trump reported in documents filed in May with federal regulators that his revenue had increased by roughly $190 million over the previous 17 months.

Trump’s campaign didn’t respond to detailed questions about the intermingling of his businesses and campaign.

Trump isn’t the first high-profile politician to run a campaign while managing large corporate assets. Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and presidential contender Steve Forbes both ran companies bearing their name.

Both took great care to carefully separate their businesses and their campaigns, their former aides said, citing the complex maze of campaign finance regulations about using corporate resources. For instance, federal rules require a company to charge their campaigns fair-market value.

The Trump campaign— funded during the primary contest mostly by loans Trump made— appears to be properly documenting its use of the businessman’s assets in federal reports, leaving a record of his campaign’s finances and their impact on his self-reported financial largesse.

Some of Trump’s revenue bump appears to be directly traced to his campaign. TAG Air Inc., the holding company for his airplane, had $3.7 million in revenue in the most recent reporting period — an amount that came largely from the campaign.

Trump’s relentless product branding while on the campaign trail might be helping, too. Trump Ice LLC, the bottled water company, brought in income of more than $413,000 in the most recent reporting period, up from $280,000.

In the beginning months of his presidential bid, Trump paid about $350,000 out of pocket to rent campaign space in his own building and to cover the salaries of some of the Trump Organization employees he’d moved onto his campaign staff. FEC reports show the campaign reimbursed him for those costs. In May, the campaign paid Trump an additional $45,000 for more rent and payroll.

Trump also lent his campaign more than $46 million over the past year — money he has largely not recouped, according to FEC reports.

As long as they are properly documented and disclosed, there isn’t necessarily anything wrong with Trump using Trump owned and branded companies to provide services and support for his campaign. The only problem that would arise would be if there were evidence that he was seeking to profit from the venture by, say, charging the Trump Presidential campaign a higher rate of rent at Trump Tower than an ordinary tenant would pay for the same space, or charging the campaign some premium when it uses Trump-branded products. At least from these initial reports, that doesn’t appear to be true and one assumes that Trump, and more importantly his lawyers and accountants, know enough that even trying to do something like this is the kind of act that could abruptly end a campaign or even cause people to go to jail if they tried to conceal it from the Federal Election Commission. Additionally, it may even be the case that using his own assets like this actually ends up saving the campaign money, something that may well be true when it comes to using Trump’s personal 757, for example. The bigger issue, and one no doubt on the mind of Republican officials, is that Trump could in theory use donations to repay himself the  $45 million he’s already spent on their campaign rather than spending it on the campaign even though, in theory, the candidate is supposed to be last in line when it comes to repaying campaign debts.

This cash on hand disparity comes at a particularly troubling time for the Trump campaign and the GOP. Just yesterday, for example, it was announced that Hillary Clinton’s campaign was getting ready for a massive ad buy at the same time that Trump’s campaign has barely enough cash on hand to keep going:

“Do ads work anymore?” he asked.

If they do, Trump is getting left behind.

The presumptive GOP nominee is being massively outspent on television airwaves: Between Tuesday and Election Day, Trump has reserved zero dollars in television advertising, compared to $117 million from Hillary Clinton and her allies, according to data from the ad tracking firm Kantar Media/CMAG.

Compared to Team Clinton’s spending, the buys from pro-Trump groups are a drop in the bucket.

Among the pro-Clinton spots is one that hammers Trump as “too dangerous for America.”

That messaging, if it sticks, could pose yet another hurdle for Trump, whose campaign is in turmoil amid criticism that it has a barely functioning infrastructure. Trump, who on Monday fired his campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, also hasn’t built other common elements of a national campaign, such as a fundraising base or an extensive network of field staff.

The pro-Clinton effort looks like a traditional ad-buying campaign, with a mix of $21 million from her campaign and major buys from Priorities USA Action, the main super PAC supporting her bid. Clinton and the super PAC have already run $12 million of television advertising in eight battleground states since she clinched the nomination earlier this month, according to the ad tracker.

Trump, on the other hand, hasn’t bought any television advertising since early May, when he spent a small amount for ads in Indiana and Nebraska.

The difference in what viewers see is stark: In the first week of the general election, Clinton and her super PAC ran nearly 4,000 more spots on broadcast and national cable TV than Trump and his allies, according to the Kantar Media data.

Outside of paid media, though, the Clinton campaign’s massive money advantage at this point, which only seems likely to increase as time goes on even if Trump gets his fundraising on track, means that her campaign is far more able to get on the ground early in states like Florida, Ohio, Virginia, and elsewhere that will play a crucial role in the outcome of the race this year. It means she can fund a deep and extensive ground game akin to the one that President Obama and the Democrats were able to rely upon in 2008 and 2012 and which played a large role in bringing their supporters to the polls both for early voting in the states where that’s an option and on Election Day. And, most importantly, it means that the Clinton campaign can spend the time between now and Labor Day using various methods to turn the November election into a referendum on Donald Trump. As I noted yesterday, if they are successful in doing that then the Republicans may as well write the Presidential race off and concentrate on saving as many of their down ballot candidates as possible while simultaneously preparing for what is likely to be a bloody and bitter aftermath to 2016 for the GOP that could make making up lost ground in 2018 and 2020 that much more difficult.

Reports claim that Trump’s campaign is set to begin more extensive fundraising shortly, and there’s always the possibility that Trump himself will put more of his own money into the campaign, but starting off this far behind is hardly a good sign for his campaign, especially since Clinton is expected to raise more than a billion dollars before the campaign is over. At this rate, there’s no way Trump is going to catch up to that number and, while that doesn’t mean that Clinton is guaranteed a win it certainly gives her an advantage that cannot be dismissed.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2016, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Politicians, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Moosebreath says:

    “The bigger issue, and one no doubt on the mind of Republican officials, is that Trump could in theory use donations to repay himself the $45 million he’s already spent on their campaign rather than spending it on the campaign even though, in theory, the candidate is supposed to be last in line when it comes to repaying campaign debts.”

    Also, it should be noted the proportion of Trump’s expenditures which are for services his companies provide:

    “Even more revealing is the fact that Trump has been using a huge amount of campaign expenditures to cycle money back through his own businesses. According to an analysis by the AP, through the end of May Trump had plowed $6.2 million into various Trump companies, which is to say, back into his own pocket. That’s roughly 10% of his campaign spending so far, which is almost entirely from the loan (which he can still repay to himself out of future fundraising) he made to his campaign. He kept up the pace in May, spending $6.7 million on his campaign and more than a million of that to various Trump enterprises.”

  2. Hal_10000 says:

    I’ve been looking for a way to tell the difference between the campaign Trump is running and a deliberate attempt to lose. Still looking.

    More seriously, this is the difference between saying, “Hey, I outta be President!” and actually being President. Being President means working with people you disagree with, building coalitions of groups with differing interests, watching what you say so you don’t drive people away and, yes, raising metric tons of money. As much as I criticized Bush II, he understood what was involve in the job. McCain got it. Kerry got it. Dukakis got it. Every President in my lifetime has understood what this job was. Trump just wants to shoot his mouth off and bask in the adulation of his followers. He’s completely unserious as a candidate. It’s kind of amazing.

    And no, it doesn’t surprise me that he’s enriching himself while ruining everyone else. That’s his business model.

  3. pylon says:

    He may not be charging above normal rates for renting his own space. But that “normal” rate is (a) probably much more than typical campaign space and (b) possibly propping up his businesses in an economic downturn. The ater example shows that he’s doubling his own company’s revenues. Query whether there was another tenant prepared to rent the space right now, at the same rate? Or in Don’s vernacular: “Grifter Donald is at it again. He’s making big bucks off his own campaign and squandering his donors money. Unseemly!”

  4. Slugger says:

    We need to decrease the importance of money in American politics. The enormous amounts involved, over a billion dollars for each candidate in the 2012 election, simply must allow for mischief. I suggest that we limit the duration of the campaign to save money and spare us months of insanity.
    I have long thought that a real life Max Bialystock would go into politics and sell stuff like books written by the candidate. Bottled water labeled by the candidate would work, too.

  5. michael reynolds says:

    He’s got 30 days to staff up, plan and pay for the Cleveland convention. Just get your head around that. He’s getting little or no help from corporate donors, the Party is not exactly flush with cash, and all the usual headliners have bailed. 30 days to plan a four day extravaganza.

    And then, he has to fight Hillary across a dozen swing states for four months.

  6. KM says:

    As long as they are properly documented and disclosed, there isn’t necessarily anything wrong with Trump using Trump owned and branded companies to provide services and support for his campaign.

    Isn’t one of the major reasons Hillary is cited as being “sleazy” is for these kinds of legal-but-I-have-ethical-questions-about-this things? As we have been told repeatedly over the course of this campaign (and Emailgate), “it’s legal” is no excuse to be icky. The man is blatantly lining his own pockets; it’s a great example of Crooked Drumpf and GOP hypocrisy. It will be a good example of Democratic campaign fails as well if they don’t pounce on this with some very pointed ads:

    “He’s wasting your tax dollars on high-end luxuries and pocketing all of it. He’s sending the People a HUUGGEE bill for this farce of a campaign – all so he can fill his empty hotel rooms with Secret Service and lobbyists. A failed business guy who needed to run for President to sell his terrible bottled water and steaks to the government. SAD!!”

  7. humanoid.panda says:

    @michael reynolds: What’s the problem? Bobby Knight and Tom Brady on day 1, mud wrestling on day 2, Chris Christie and Newt Gingrich forced to compete in American Gladiator style feats of endurance for the VP slot on day 3, Trump gives his acceptance speech while throwing 10 dollar bills at crowd on day 4 . Ratings bonanza!

  8. Pch101 says:

    Without cash, he will have little choice but to rely upon publicity gimmicks (read: trolling for cameras and social media), since he won’t be able to pay for advertising or a ground game.

    You would have expected him to start moving toward the center in order to win over swing voters. But a normal, non-autistic version of Trump (assuming that persona exists) that could win over those voters would be too boring to get much of that free media attention.

    So Trump may feel pressured to become more outrageous, not less. Hard to imagine that this could get even worse, but he will be heavily dependent upon his internet followers (read: members of the GOP base who are greatly out of step with a majority of the country) to carry the water for him.

  9. Kylopod says:

    It really is looking increasingly like The Producers. He may not have done anything jail-worthy, but he could be fending off lawsuits for years to come–which I’m sure is not what he had in mind when he first launched his presidential bid.

  10. grumpy realist says:

    Josh over at TPM has some more analysis….

    It will be interesting if this meme “Trump’s stone broke!” has any further legs in the media. I would love to see Trump’s financials finally come out into the open and get dissected to a fare-thee-well. (Couldn’t happen to a nicer grifter, right?)

    As said, there’s a reason no one in NYC does any business with Trump except for 100% cash down on the barrel. It’s just interesting that this is now getting made widely known across the US.

  11. KM says:

    @humanoid.panda:

    mud wrestling on day 2

    Aren’t they supposed to be the family friendly party? Jello wrestling, man!! Get that corporate marketing in there (it might be the only one he gets)!

  12. PJ says:

    From an earlier post:

    The Washington Post reports that a small group of delegates to the Republican National Convention is engaged in what seems like yet another quixotic effort to deny Donald Trump the Republican Presidential Nomination

    There has been a lot of those. All smoke screens.

    This blog post is about the actual effort, by the powers that be, to push Trump away from the Republican Presidential Nomination. And they want him gone before the convention.

  13. Moosebreath says:

    @humanoid.panda:

    “Chris Christie and Newt Gingrich forced to compete in American Gladiator style feats of endurance for the VP slot on day 3, ”

    I’d watch this on pay-per-view, but not if any portion of the proceeds goes into the Trump campaign funds.

  14. grumpy realist says:

    @KM: Now we’re getting the begging for money with the promise of anything-you-send-I’ll-match….but only up to $2M overall.

    He really doesn’t have any cash around, does he. God, what a trainwreck.

  15. grumpy realist says:

    “the picture of Trump as a high-class magnate is being replaced with a different picture, one of a grifter always dancing one step ahead of bankruptcy court and concocting one failed scheme after another to separate people from their money.”

    Zing!

  16. Gustopher says:

    @michael reynolds: It’s Cleveland. How expensive and complicated could it be to throw a four day party in Cleveland? The people of Cleveland haven’t even seen gold plated bathroom fixtures!

    It’s going to be big, and it’s going to be classy.

  17. EddieInCA says:

    @michael reynolds:

    He’s got 30 days to staff up, plan and pay for the Cleveland convention. Just get your head around that. He’s getting little or no help from corporate donors, the Party is not exactly flush with cash, and all the usual headliners have bailed. 30 days to plan a four day extravaganza.

    As you and WR know, I produce film and TV for a living. For even a small basic cable 10 episode TV series with a total budget of $10M, I get five to six weeks of prep. And that’s with the financing firmly in place, and complete network and studio infrastructure to support the endeavor.

    Here are just some of the elements that have to be put in place:

    1. Funding.
    2. A General Overall Plan
    3. Specific Plans for each night.
    4. Design and build a Stage
    5. Create the lighting and sound design for the space.
    6. Organize lodging deals.
    7. Organize vendors, sponsors (tied into #1 above).
    8. Attract and organize surrogates.
    9. Figure out security.

    And that’s even before you start….

    10. Arrange and organize Delegate Contingents from each state.
    11. Delegate and Rules Committee Meetings
    12. VP Pick vetting and Announcement (Who wants this job besides Christie and Newt?)

    I have no doubt that they’ll put it together, but it’s going to be a sh*t show. It’s going to look and feel cheap. And the television networks will do their best to make it look better than it is, but it will still be a sh*t show.

    The 2008 RNC convention cost about $60M, of which Minnesota paid 1/2. The RNC doesn’t have 30 million right now for this. And they have to be smart. If they blow all their money on this convention, they have nothing to help House and Senate Candidates.

    Should be fun.

  18. michael reynolds says:

    @EddieInCA:

    Exactly, and thanks for adding actual expertise. One sees that so seldom.

    I’d been analogizing in my head to the Oscars show. My vague memory is that they tend to hire producers for that about 4-6 months out. And that’s just three hours, with the best production talent they can find and a whole industry full of trained and experienced pros. And there’s generally no rioting at the Oscars.

    I understand Trump’s going to make Mexico pay for it.

  19. grumpy realist says:

    @EddieInCA: For some reason your analysis reminds me of the old saw: “young military officers worry about strategy. Old military officers worry about logistics.”

    But isn’t this whole thing in the RNC’s lap? How does Trump have to do anything with the convention aside from showing up with an acceptance speech? (Yes, well, I know it’s Trump, but traditionally isn’t that all the nominee had to do?)

  20. Jenos Idanian says:

    Of course Hillary is way ahead in money. She’s spent literally decades demonstrating that she’s for sale, so buying her is considered a decent investment.

  21. EddieInCA says:

    @grumpy realist:

    No. Just the opposite.

    The RNC usually feeds off of the fundraising of the presumptive nominee. The RNC needs Trump to drive the dollars. For an example of how’s that’s supposed to be done, see Clinton, Hillary Rodham.

    She has been raising money for the party since March. If Bernie wasn’t being a sanctimonious douchebag, the Dems could, for once and for all, destroy the current GOP. If Bernie put his army to work raising money for the DNC and Hillary, they’d create a war chest that would trickle down into the smallest congressional districts and they’d tie every GOP candidate to Trump. The GOP would only win the reddest of the very red. Any district with even a change of flipping would be inundated with ads tying the GOP candidate to Trump.

    I still think that might happen. But we’ll see. The GOP’s biggest problem is that even guys like the Koch Bros are sitting it out, choosing (at this point) to not even give to Senate and House candidates. Nobody wants to bet money on a fight if your fighter is going to get knocked out cold in the first round.

    So if the big money donors won’t pitch in, where do you get money if your base is poor working class whites. Bernie’s army was young, educated kids with disposable income. Trump’s base is lower middle class without disposable income. Where does he get real money. Where does he get the $300-$400 million he needs, minimum, to compete?

    He has a FULL staff of 73 people nationwide right now. 73. My average crew on even a small show is 75. Mine is a small basic cable TV series. Trump’s is for a NATIONWIDE CAMPAIGN.

    Clinton has over 900, with another 3000 volunteers, and she has field offices in all fifty states. In some states, Trump has one person. In many, he has ZERO offices.

    This is not even close to a real Presidential campaign. It’s not even a congressional campaign.

  22. An Interested Party says:

    Of course Hillary is way ahead in money. She’s spent literally decades demonstrating that she’s for sale, so buying her is considered a decent investment.

    Awwww….those sour grapes must taste so sweet…meanwhile, when are all of those Trump supporters (including a few gullible fools around here) going to realize that they’ve been had…a pity that the GOP will be paying a price for that…

  23. michael reynolds says:

    @EddieInCA:

    Trump has one (1) staffer covering the entire southeast, which includes the swing states of Virginia and Florida.

    Not only does he not have money to pay staff, he’s now selling tickets on the Trumptanic. There will be people desperate enough to work for him, but he won’t be getting the cream of the crop. The hiring involves a ten-fold increase. Overnight.

  24. Jeremy R says:

    That sketchy “Draper/Sterling” payment from the financial disclosures seems to be leading to lots of “no comment”s, biographies being scrubbed and entire websites being deleted:

    http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2016/06/21/3790715/weird-story-behind-trump-campaigns-35000-payment-draper-sterling-advertising/

    The Trump campaign made $35,000 in payments to an entity called “Draper Sterling” for “web advertising.” Three $10,000 payments and one $5,000 payment were placed on the campaign’s American Express card on the same day. … Draper and Sterling, of course, are the fictional names of the two lead characters in Mad Men, the hit AMC show about advertising.

  25. EddieInCA says:

    @michael reynolds:

    I’d been analogizing in my head to the Oscars show. My vague memory is that they tend to hire producers for that about 4-6 months out. And that’s just three hours, with the best production talent they can find and a whole industry full of trained and experienced pros. And there’s generally no rioting at the Oscars.

    Boom! Almost exactly right. Six months. http://oscar.go.com/news/oscar-news/david-hill-and-reginald-hudlin-to-produce-88th-oscars-telecast-2016-150901

    Six months.

    Trump and the RNC have 30 days.

  26. Jenos Idanian says:

    @An Interested Party: Trump supporter? If by that, you mean “believes that both candidates will be disasters, but Trump will be more entertaining,” guilty as charged.

    And thank you for not challenging that Hillary’s for sale. You saved me recounting her history, starting from her astonishing venture into cattle futures through the Clinton Foundation money laundering. I really don’t have the time to go into that now…

  27. wr says:

    @michael reynolds: “There will be people desperate enough to work for him, but he won’t be getting the cream of the crop. ”

    Especially since he is famous for not paying his people once the job is completed. I have a feeling there’s a lot of folks out there who will be very happy to inform any potential Trump workers what happened to them…

  28. James Pearce says:

    @EddieInCA:

    This is not even close to a real Presidential campaign. It’s not even a congressional campaign.

    Apparently, it’s not even much of a TV show, either…

  29. An Interested Party says:

    Trump supporter? If by that, you mean “believes that both candidates will be disasters, but Trump will be more entertaining,” guilty as charged.

    I didn’t mention any names but if you want to accept the label while trying to walk back your earlier praise of him, well, I’m sure that surprises no one…

    And thank you for not challenging that Hillary’s for sale.

    Most of the hot air you spew isn’t worth challenging…keep spewing it though…no one is paying you too much attention…well, not much more than pointing and laughing…

    Apparently, it’s not even much of a TV show, either…

    I’m sure that TLC would gladly give him some time on their channel along with all the other freaky reality shows…

  30. JKB says:

    Oooh, when are Democrats going to start going on and on about Citizens United?

    All that corporate, Silicon Valley and Wall Street cash sloshing around in a candidate’s campaign. Oh, wait.

    On the other hand, every other word in the media and most everywhere is Trump. And people have to be reminded about that lady who’s supposedly running, but no one can remember what if anything she said about Orlando since Obama is heading the Democratic ticket apparently.

    Question is, will people be surprised when Obama’s name isn’t on the ballot they are given to vote?

  31. MikeSJ says:

    @EddieInCA

    Nobody wants to bet money on a fight if your fighter is going to get knocked out cold in the first round. :

    I’d add to that and say nobody wants to give money to a fighter if they think he’ll put it in his back pocket and take a dive.

    What are the odds that Trump will simply pocket large amounts of any donation?

    I was going to say these Big Money guys didn’t get where they are by being dummies but then I remembered Foster Friess…

  32. Mister Bluster says:

    Voting rights in these United States.
    Lest we forget. 52 very short years ago today.
    Three Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) field workers were killed in Philadelphia, Mississippi, by the Ku Klux Klan in response to their civil rights work, which included promoting voting registration among African Americans, most of whom had been disenfranchised in the state since 1890.

    Deputy Sheriff Cecil Price arrested Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner for an alleged traffic violation and took them to the jail in Neshoba County. They were released that evening, without being allowed to telephone anyone. On the way back to Meridian, they were stopped by patrol lights and two carloads of KKK members on Highway 19, then taken in Price’s car to another remote rural road. The KKK men shot and killed Schwerner, then Goodman, and finally Chaney, after chain-whipping him.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Schwerner

  33. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @JKB:

    On the other hand, every other word in the media and most everywhere is Trump.

    Yea, the problem there is that the coverage has overwhelmingly turned negative. The media giveth, and the media taketh away.

    Citizens United was correctly decided (an opinion which makes people angry, but which is accurate nonetheless) if the goal was to preserve Buckley v. Valeo (which it almost certainly was).

    The correct ruling, in this instance, would have been to overturn Buckley. Money isn’t speech – not for a corporation and not for an individual. There is no constitutionally protected right to donate money to a political campaign – for anybody …

  34. EddieInCA says:

    @JKB:

    Look! Squirrel!!!

    Do better. You’re embarrassing yourself.

  35. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @EddieInCA:

    This is not even close to a real Presidential campaign. It’s not even a congressional campaign.

    Exactly. I’d add that I’m still not entirely convinced that this campaign of his isn’t a Joaquin Phoenix and has been from the outset. For all of his faults – and they are legion – the guy does know how to close a deal and he does understand what it takes to win. He’s literally not even trying to win, IMO, which (given that I’ve had a front row seat for the Donald Trump show for over a decade now) leaves me wondering – why? If he isn’t trying to win, then what’s his endgame?

  36. MarkedMan says:

    JKB has a point though. I have been surprised at how Citizens United has played out in this cycle.

  37. grumpy realist says:

    @HarvardLaw92: I don’t see how you can say donations of money == free speech and not knock a total hole in FCPA….

  38. Moosebreath says:

    @MarkedMan:

    “I have been surprised at how Citizens United has played out in this cycle.”

    Umm, why? There’s nothing too shocking about Hillary both following the law as it currently exists, while still advocating that it be changed. Doing otherwise is too close to unilaterally disarming.

  39. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @grumpy realist:
    Bribery is transactional.. Bribery isn’t an expression of an opinion – it’s the unlawful procurement of advantage which is detrimental to the public good. It’s no more speech than you buying a coffee is speech.

  40. grumpy realist says:

    @EddieInCA: But who’s in charge of putting on the nomination shindig? Isn’t it the RNC/DNC as opposed to any one of the candidates?

    (I’m having this image of umpteen tens of thousands of people descending upon Cleveland and discovering that neither Donald nor the RNC actually prepared for anything–that each insists that the other was supposed to have been in charge. That would be EPIC.)

  41. James Pearce says:

    @JKB:

    Oooh, when are Democrats going to start going on and on about Citizens United?

    Cute, but what does Citizen’s United have to do with how much money the campaigns have raised? (Not a trick question. Seems like you have a vague or incorrect understanding of the Citizen’s United ruling, and you’ve chosen to blame someone else’s hypocrisy instead of your own ignorance.)

    Also:

    On the other hand, every other word in the media and most everywhere is Trump.

    Yes, but the coverage has been incredibly negative. Trump could use a day or two where his campaign’s deficiencies aren’t in the spotlight.

  42. MarkedMan says:

    @Moosebreath:

    “I have been surprised at how Citizens United has played out in this cycle.”

    Umm, why?

    I was expecting that the big money would buy an automatic for Jeb, and I didn’t think Bernie would have gotten so far with only small donations and no PAC. It’s caused me to rethink my reaction to the whole thing. I’m currently wondering whether it will have more impact on house and senate races

  43. Dave Francis says:

    IF DONALD TRUMP IS CHEATED FROM THE PRESIDENCY.

    REMEMBER THE NATIONAL MEDIA SLANTED HEAVILY TOWARDS DEMS & LIBERALS, WILL NEVER TELL YOU THE WHOLE TRUTH. CHECK OUT CABLE’S UNBIASED NEWS ON “ONE AMERICAN NEWS NETWORK.” THOSE WHO DON’T DO THE RESEARCH ON THE CRIMINAL HISTORY AND SUSPICIOUS SITUATION ARE A BUNCH OF HYPOCRITES, FOR NOT MAKING AN INVESTIGATION FIRST? THERE PAST BACKGROUND IS ALL THERE, BUT YOU MUST LOOK FOR IT; STARTING WITH WHITEWATER, THEN BILL CLINTON’S DARK SEXUAL ISSUES AND THE SELLING OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE’S VOTES, TO UNFRIENDLY NATIONS?

    Trump Supporters will walk causing massive consequences in the Cleveland GOP delegate convention, as never seen in history. The majority of the 14 million voters and the Silent Majority will not vote if any dirty tricks are detected?

    Under Hillary Clinton illegal aliens will pour into our country.
    I WILL NOT VOTE FOR THE CRIMINAL CLINTON FAMILY WHO SAID THEY WERE BROKE WHEN LEAVING THE WHITE HOUSE, AND TODAY WORTH 100’s OF MILLIONS. READ THEIR HISTORY FOR FACTS.
    NOR WILL I VOTE FOR THEIR GLOBALIST CRONIES.
    NOR WILL I VOTE FOR ANY POLITICIAN, WHO CONDONES ISLAMIC TREATMENT OF ANY WOMEN; USING THEM AS CATTLE OR WORSE.
    HILLARY CLINTON ACCUMULATED OVER $250 MILLION DOLLARS, WITH MOSLEM COUNTRIES WHOSE FAITH IS “SHARIA LAW” AND MURDERS GAYS, CHRISTIANS, JEWS AND STONE WOMEN TO DEATH FOR ADULTERY.
    AS TO THE APPLE CORPORATION, WITH TRUMP THEY ARE GOING TO LOSE THEIR ENORMOUS PROFITS BY USING CHEAP CHINESE LABOR INSTEAD OF US CITIZENS AND LEGAL IMMIGRANTS?
    THE NATIONAL LIBERAL PRESS LIE OR USE RHETORIC TO TWIST TRUMPS WORDS AND PLANS SUCH AS STOPPING THE ILLEGAL ALIEN INVASION. LEARN MORE OF WHAT THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION AND THE GOP ELITISTS HAVE DONE FOR YOU, SUCH AS NOT ENFORCING OUR BORDERS, NOT MANDATING IF E-VERIFY. CHECK OUT UNPUBLISHED CRIMINAL ACTS BY FOREIGNERS AT http://www.illegalaliencrimereport.com
    YOU WILL HAVE TO PAY MORE TAXES UNDER OBAMA, CLINTON FOR THE MILLIONS OF ILLEGAL ALIEN INVADERS, THE ( 500%)) PERCENT MORE REFUGEES AND THE TAX & SPEND OF LIBERAL DEMOCRATS.
    The Democratic and Republican Elites will keep their access to Wall Street and become millionaires through cronyism and insider trading. The Corporate Inversion Donald Trump talks about, is stealing jobs, and huge business and the Politicians profit from this?
    Remember the Primary system is rigged on behalf of both parties.
    Cheap labor in the form of legal immigrants will take our jobs, as we are seeing now.
    A tax and spend Oval office with millions of more Americans on welfare to exist.
    Freeloaders who don’t want to work, will forever stay on the welfare rolls.
    Without the wall, our borders will be unsecured.
    China, Japan, India; especially Mexico and the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) will put us in incomprehensible debt.
    Our military is being depleted; undersupplied and losing funds from the Parties votes and ONLY Trump will revitalized our armed services.
    ISIS will not be destroyed and will thrive.
    The US Constitution will be compromised.
    Our economy will NEVER, ever recover. Illegal immigration will continue, stealing American jobs to satisfy incorrigible businesses.
    Radical Muslims will take control, and slowly destroy our way of life. Sharia law will be forced on the American people, as in European countries.
    Our Vets will remain homeless, and suicides will rise as they are forgotten.
    Our guns will slowly be taken away, through new legislation.
    No matter where you or your family goes, reams of rules and regulations will follow you; small business will no longer be able to get ahead.
    We will remain dependent on foreign fossil fuels and our own abundant oil and gas reserves will be prohibited.
    A Hillary White House will force us into a dependency on government.
    Slowly the America we know will no longer exist, as the United Nations has more influence over ever issue in our sovereign nation?

  44. grumpy realist says:

    @HarvardLaw92: I get the sneaky suspicion that that’s what happened in Florida where the AG decided to not go against Trump U. and surprise some money was donated to her campaign….

    “Oh, no, I just looked at the situation and did this out of my good heart and Donald Trump just happened out of the goodness of his heart to donate to my campaign the following year….”

    Snort. Pull the other one, it’s got bells on.

  45. James Pearce says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    Yea, the problem there is that the coverage has overwhelmingly turned negative.

    I’m gonna need to type faster to avoid redundancy….

  46. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Dave Francis:

    Ladies and gentlemen – I give you the Republican base … 🙄

  47. Franklin says:

    @Dave Francis: Oh, that was good. As soon as I saw the ALL CAPS, I knew I was in for a treat, thank you!

  48. MarkedMan says:

    The ALL CAPS thing always convinces me. I find I might be wavering, but ALL CAPS brings me right back. That and the frequent use of “SHEEPLE” and nowadays “cuckservatives”…

  49. MikeSJ says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    He’s literally not even trying to win, IMO, which (given that I’ve had a front row seat for the Donald Trump show for over a decade now) leaves me wondering – why? If he isn’t trying to win, then what’s his endgame?

    I think Early Onset Dementia shouldn’t be ruled out.
    It would certainly explain a lot.

  50. grumpy realist says:

    Wowza.

    That’s gotta sting.

    And Trumpy’s Twitter responses are starting to read like very weird Mad-Libs. This latest had absolutely nothing in relation to what Hillary was saying.

  51. MarkedMan says:

    Whoa. I kid you not. The Donald just gave a speech where he implied that Clinton is a secret Muslim.

    The shark has been jumped.

  52. al-Alameda says:

    @Dave Francis:

    YOU WILL HAVE TO PAY MORE TAXES UNDER OBAMA, CLINTON FOR THE MILLIONS OF ILLEGAL ALIEN INVADERS, THE ( 500%)) PERCENT MORE REFUGEES AND THE TAX & SPEND OF LIBERAL DEMOCRATS.
    The Democratic and Republican Elites will keep their access to Wall Street and become millionaires through cronyism and insider trading. The Corporate Inversion Donald Trump talks about, is stealing jobs, and huge business and the Politicians profit from this?

    I have to ask: Why the sudden transition from ALL CAPS to “normal use” of upper and lower case characters?

  53. Pete S says:

    @JKB:

    And people have to be reminded about that lady who’s supposedly running, but no one can remember what if anything she said about Orlando since Obama is heading the Democratic ticket apparently.

    Question is, will people be surprised when Obama’s name isn’t on the ballot they are given to vote?

    Two comments
    1. Hillary Clinton did make some comments after the Orlando shootings, but since they were thoughtful and measured and her opponents’ comments were idiotic and offensive his are the ones which stick in people’s minds.
    2. Why wouldn’t the president be visible on a regular basis, especially in a situation like this? he is the president. There is more to governing than just the election.

  54. James Pearce says:

    @al-Alameda:

    Why the sudden transition from ALL CAPS to “normal use” of upper and lower case characters?

    That’s how it looked when Dave’s Uncle e-mailed it to him….

  55. slimslowslider says:

    @al-Alameda:

    Mom came in and asked what he was doing.

  56. Moosebreath says:

    @MarkedMan:

    Thanks — I was thinking about something else.

  57. humanoid.panda says:

    @grumpy realist: The RNC is in charge of organizing the convention, but to get the cash for it, it needs fundraising help from he candidate, and donations from various corporations- and neither are at their regular levels.

  58. grumpy realist says:

    @humanoid.panda: Thank you!

    I wonder who’s the poor sap in the RNC charged with pulling the nuts out of THIS fire?! I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw not a few people run screaming off into the night.

  59. michael reynolds says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    He defines winning differently. I think for him ego service is everything. His goal is attention: mission accomplished.

    In no way does he suggest a guy who is preparing to take on a 4 year gig that involves a whole lot of reading and pondering and consulting and balancing competing interests. Trump has a child’s view of the job. He’s going to “be” president, not actually “do” the work. He’s lazy, rather stupid, immature and complacent.

    Trump is just the ugly Kardashian, mostly famous for being famous, selling his name, pushing his brand. He gives not a single damn about the issues, or the problems of the sadsacks who put their trust in them. It’s all bluff. All hat, no cattle. He no more wants to do the actual job of POTUS than Paris Hilton wants to clean rooms in one of her namesake hotels.

  60. Rafer Janders says:

    @Dave Francis:

    I find your opinions intriguing and would like to learn more. Do you have a newsletter I could subscribe to?

  61. wr says:

    @al-Alameda: “I have to ask: Why the sudden transition from ALL CAPS to “normal use” of upper and lower case characters?”

    Meds kicked in?

  62. CB says:

    @JKB:

    No, its that the Trump “campaign” is so mind-bogglingly, astoundingly, stupendously insane and incompetent that it renders Clinton unremarkable. Own it.

  63. C. Clavin says:

    Clinton is also stretching her lead in the polls.
    Things could potentially look pretty bad by the conventions.

  64. Anjin-san says:

    @Dave Francis

    You and Jenos should do lunch…

  65. gVOR08 says:

    @Dave Francis: I have a theory that conservatives lack any sort of functioning bull shit detector. They’ll believe anything that makes them feel good. Thank you for the demonstration.

  66. grumpy realist says:

    Wow. The Chicago Tribune (not known for being a liberal paper BTW) is now pushing the RNC to jump off the ledge.

  67. grumpy realist says:

    Oh Lord.

    Looks like lil’ Donnie’s going to learn the first rule of project management the hard way: “You cannot get a baby by getting nine women pregnant for one month each.”

    And I’d add: “no matter how much money you throw at the problem, which you wouldn’t anyway, because you’re a cheap bastard.”)

    I also note that the article specifically points out that Trump isn’t going to be able to drag the heavy-check-writers into the pool until he ponies up sufficient moolah himself–either through forgiveness of loans he’s made to the campaign or putting his own money in, gratis. Trump’s got too good a reputation now of using Other People’s Money, overleveraging, and then scampering away from the problem with a bankruptcy when the proverbial hits the proverbial.

  68. Barry says:

    @pylon: Seconding.

    Doug: “As long as they are properly documented and disclosed, there isn’t necessarily anything wrong with Trump using Trump owned and branded companies to provide services and support for his campaign. The only problem that would arise would be if there were evidence that he was seeking to profit from the venture by, say, charging the Trump Presidential campaign a higher rate of rent at Trump Tower than an ordinary tenant would pay for the same space, or charging the campaign some premium when it uses Trump-branded products. ”

    Charging standard rates for rooms which you can’t fill would (a) be a con and (b) improve the bottom line immensely.

    Doug, google ‘marginal cost’.

  69. Barry says:

    @humanoid.panda: “Trump gives his acceptance speech while throwing 10 dollar bills at crowd on day 4 ”

    It’s Trump, remember – he’ll throw 100-Trump bills 🙂

  70. Barry says:

    @EddieInCA: I assume that 90% of the planning and prep for the GOP convention was already done. However, Trump and his entourage will have full power to f*ck it up.

  71. Barry says:

    @EddieInCA: “wer middle class without disposable income. Where does he get real money. Where does he get the $300-$400 million he needs, minimum, to compete?”

    Median household income (from exit polls) was $71K for Trump voters, $64K for Clinton supporters and $61K for Sanders supporters.

    Trump’s base is the middle class, not the working class.

  72. Loviatar says:

    @Barry:

    Trump’s base is the middle racist class, not the working class.

    Fixed it for you.

  73. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Jenos Idanian: @JKB: So much smoke, so little light. I take it that neither one of you was a boy scout?

  74. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @HarvardLaw92: I’ve been wondering the same thing for a while now, too. How is he going to monetize this adventure? What’s the bottom line goal here? I can’t see him valuing political power all that much. It’s certainly not for the yuuuuuge salary he would get as President. (Although if the Forbes article you cited a few days ago is accurate…)

  75. EddieInCA says:

    @Barry:

    Median household income (from exit polls) was $71K for Trump voters, $64K for Clinton supporters and $61K for Sanders supporters.

    Exit Polls? Really?

    The facts would seem to disagree with you. http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/03/who-are-donald-trumps-supporters-really/471714/

    From the article:

    The second Trump-voter story focused on the typical demographic breakdowns: gender, race, and age. Back in December, a Washington Post analysis found that Trump’s support skewed male, white, and poor. The male-female gap was 19 percentage points (47 percent support among men vs. 28 percent among women). He won a whopping 50 percent of voters making less than $50,000, 18 percentage points ahead of his support with those who earned more than that amount.

  76. An Interested Party says:

    At this point, it looks like Trump himself will have to stand on a street corner with a tin cup to try to get enough money just for the convention…maybe he could just present evidence to a judge that the GOP is broke and get some kind of bankruptcy protection for the party…after all, at least he has shown that he is good at that…

  77. rachel says:

    @MikeSJ:

    I think Early Onset Dementia shouldn’t be ruled out.

    I don’t think dementia at 70 is considered early.

  78. Facebones says:

    @michael reynolds:

    And then, he has to fight Hillary across a dozen swing states for four months.

    If by swing state, you mean Arizona, Utah, and Georgia.

  79. Tony W says:

    This morning I heard the phrase “Trumpster Fire”.

  80. KM says:

    @Barry:

    It’s Trump, remember – he’ll throw 100-Trump bills 🙂

    Ah, collectors items. Some day, a half century or so later when the embarrassment has died down and a new generation is asking WTF Were They Thinking, elderly conference attendees can pull these out and say they were there the day America officially lost its damn mind (and that they had nothing to do with it, mind you, they were there to Say No!)

  81. grumpy realist says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker: Interesting look at the finances of Donald’s campaign. (Don’t read the comments, however. Standard Atlantic blether.)

  82. grumpy realist says:

    Looks like Donald decided to forgive the loans. Well, there wasn’t really anything else he could have done, was there? Not and still have a chance of raising $$$ anywhere?

    (What I would do if approached for $ would be to state the following: “You have $10B and have put in $45M, which corresponds to 0.45% of your worth. Therefore, to match that, I will be providing you with 0.45% of mine, which I will round up. Here’s one cent.”)