Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-MA) campaign seemingly went back on its promise to refrain from seeking help from wealthy donors, reportedly allowing a big donor to help pay for access to a Democrat voter database, BuzzFeed reports.
According to reports, Warren’s campaign accepted help from a “wealthy Silicon Valley physician named Karla Jurvetson,” who reportedly assisted the campaign in gaining access to the Democrat Party’s voter database. Access costs $175,000.
The DNC term sheet outlines two ways campaigns may pay for the voter file: by transferring funds directly to the DNC, or raising that money “to” the DNC through donors.
Jurvetson, who contributed about $7 million to Democratic causes during the 2018 election, gave a total of $100,000 to the DNC in April 2019, Federal Election Commission filings show. The donations, according to two Democratic operatives with knowledge of the agreement, helped Warren pay for the voter file.
However, Warren’s team said she did not break her promise, as she did not personally reach out to Jurvetson, fundraise with her, or grant her special access.
In a statement, a Warren campaign official said that the candidate herself did not make any calls to Jurvetson in order to facilitate the contribution, nor did the campaign solicit the money at a fundraising event. The official said Warren has remained consistent with the standard she set earlier this year in her pledge: not trading access for money.
Jurvetson reportedly assisted Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) in gaining access to the database as well.
In February, Warren pledged to run her campaign on “the principle of equal access for anybody who joins it.”
Her team detailed the decision in a Medium post:
That means no fancy receptions or big money fundraisers only with people who can write the big checks. And when I thank the people giving to my campaign, it will not be based on the size of their donation. It means that wealthy donors won’t be able to purchase better seats or one-on-one time with me at our events. And it means I won’t be doing “call time,” which is when candidates take hours to call wealthy donors to ask for their support. As a candidate for president, the expectation is you make hours of these calls a week and attend dozens of these exclusive events every quarter.
Warren successfully raised $19.1 million in the second quarter, without the help of fundraisers, rivaling frontrunner Joe Biden (D), who reportedly raised $21.5 million, and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) who raised $18 million in the second quarter, with an additional $6 million coming from a separate account.