Emails belonging to Clinton campaign chair John Podesta released by Wikileaks this week reveals a close, working relationship with a super PAC despite promises of outlawing such arrangements within the first month of her potential presidency.
Clinton in a February 2016 primary debate with Senator Bernie Sanders denied any assertion that her official campaign and the super PAC, Priorities USA, “coordinate” on any matter and suggested an organic decision process on the part of the soft money group to support her apparently occurred.
In subsequent months, Clinton promised a constitutional amendment to essentially upend the Citizens United ruling allowing commercial and labor interests to form organizations that supported particular candidates or causes, according to POLITICO. To further personalize her fight against the ruling allowing for super PACs to flourish, the Clinton camp produced a video for a dedicated page on her website to promote the position of getting “unaccountable money out of our politics.”
The Democrat nominee most recently brought the issue of needing to remove super PACs from the American electoral system in the second presidential debate against Donald Trump, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Public positions against the use of super PAC organizations aside, recently-released emails and a campaign finance memo detail the lengths to which the campaign coordinated with Priorities USA with particular emphasis on sharing fundraising leads, joint donor relations efforts, and general communications. A memo penned by Clinton election counsel Marc Elias offered a scenario how a campaign staffer should properly share a donor lead to a super PAC fundraiser:
Permissible: “Donor A works in financial services and has been a long-time contributor. I think she’d be willing to do six figures for Priorities.”
Not recommended: “I want you to call Donor A and ask for $250,000.”
The memo reminds Clinton staffers that if they are in a situation where they are raising funds on behalf of Priorities USA, “they must include a hard money ask (for $5,000 or less) during the course of the conversation.”
Clinton attorneys stressed that communications between the campaign and PAC be limited to conversations involving fundraising and avoid topics related to polling, messaging or other strategic issues.
A separate email thread indicating a Google Calendar invitation between key Clinton staffers and legal counsel reflected a March 7, 2016 conference titled “Super Pacs Check-In”. The invitation did not suggest any specific agenda items or whether “Super Pacs” referred to groups in addition to Priorities USA.
Logan Churchwell is the Assistant Editor and a founding member of the Breitbart Texas team. You can follow him on Twitter @LCChurchwell.