In 2008, President Barack Obama limited the amount of donations the Democratic National Committee could receive from lobbyists and other influencers in politics. Friday, the DNC reversed the decision, allowing unlimited funding – which may favor former Secy. Hillary Clinton’s campaign in a huge way.
Complaints that the DNC favor Clinton as its candidate is not new. News outlets like HBO’s Vice explored the question, “Is the Democratic Party Rigging the Election for Hillary Clinton?“
Many of the issues discussed by Vice and other media have a long list of items that seem to support the notion of Clinton favoritism: The DNC taking away the Sander campaign’s access to voter files, the odd Democratic debate dates may allow Clinton’s stay as frontrunner, and more debates added as Clinton’s favorability drops with dems conveniently after her narrow win in Iowa.
Strongly opposed by many in the party, Friday’s decision is being seen as a way to strengthen Clinton’s campaign with more contributions. The DNC disagrees.
“The DNC’s recent change in guidelines will ensure that we continue to have the resources and infrastructure in place to best support whoever emerges as our eventual nominee,” Mark Paustenbach, deputy communications director for the DNC, said in an email to the washington post.
But many aren’t buying Paustenbach’s explanation.
“It is a major step in the wrong direction,” said longtime reform advocate Fred Wertheimer. “And it is completely out of touch with the clear public rejection of the role of political money in Washington,” expressed during the 2016 campaign.
Why does this favor Clinton and not Sanders? Clinton’s campaign is overwhelmingly supported by super Pacs compared to Sen. Bernie sanders (VT). Super PACS can supply unlimited money to candidates campaigns legally since the Citizens United ruling.
Clinton’s campaign has amassed $47.9 million in super PACS to Sanders’s 0%, as reported by the New York Times.
And the Clinton super PACs are wasting no time showing what PAC money can do. Priorities USA Action, a super PAC supporting Clinton, is reportedly spending $4.5 million, originally earmarked for the general election, to influence minority voters in key states like South Carolina.
Although Clinton presses hard with super PAC money, Sanders has broken records with over 3.56 million individual donors, averaging just $27 each.
Money aside, the DNC’s actions causing some to question, and possibly answer Vice’s question, “Is the Democratic Party Rigging the Election for Hillary Clinton?”
The longterm impacts are yet to be seen since the change is in the infancy stage, but the Clinton campaign is taking advantage early.