Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 8, 2016

Posts in "Presidential"

July 9, 2014

Paul Ryan Collects Almost $7 Million (Corrected)

Mitt Romney Va. Tour

Corrected, 10:30 a.m. | 2012 vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul D. Ryan has had the time and opportunity to methodically meet and greet the top financial donors of the Republican Party around the country – and collect almost $7 million dollars in campaign contributions.

Ryan for Congress reported it had receipts of $1,611,280 during the second quarter of 2014. This brings the Wisconsin Republican’s election cycle total receipts to $6.95 million.

During the quarter, Ryan’s committee received over $1 million in direct contributions from individuals – with many from the financial services industry, $432,740 from PACs and other committees, and $156,596 from transfers in from joint fundraising efforts with this leadership PAC and his Ryan-NRCC Victory Committee. The committee spent $1,783,118 during the quarter, and has cash on hand of $3,835,558, and debts of $6,525, as of June 30th.

One June 16th, and prior to the close of books for the second quarter, the committee sent $1 million in excess funds to the National Republican Congressional Committee. It was also five days after Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., announced he would resign as House Majority Leader.

Donors included Full story

May 17, 2014

Personal Finances of President Obama and Vice President Biden Disclosed

President Obama and Vice President Biden filed their personal financial disclosure reports this week and the White House has made them public.

The Ethics in Government Act requires the annual personal wealth and financial reports from persons in the top paying positions in the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches of government. Candidates for Congress are also required to file.

The White House has made public the personal financial report, covering CY2013, of President Barack Obama, as well as voluntarily disclosing his tax filing for CY2013.

Full story

April 29, 2014

Obama Campaign Pays $523,000 in Taxes

Campaign committees are sometimes money makers, but when they are, they must pay taxes, as President Obama’s campaign did with a $523,000 payment to the I.R.S.

Campaigns often carry large cash balances and can earn interest on their accounts – and some even invest campaign funds. A number of campaigns have developed large mailing lists of donors and rent out their lists to other like-minded candidates, PACs and political party committees. The income generated from interest, investing, and renting lists is taxable income.

Obama for America, the campaign committee of President Barack Obama, reported it paid $523,000 on March 14, 2014, to the Internal Revenue Service for taxes.

Mitt Romney’s Romney for President Inc. committee reported it paid $158,068 to the United States Treasury on March 14th for taxes.

Country First PAC, the leadership PAC of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., reported it paid $100,777 to the I.R.S. on January 8th.

The leadership PAC of Rep. Michelle Bachmann, R-Minn., reported it paid $20,264 to the U.S. Treasury on March 11th. Her campaign committee paid $14,832 to the Treasury on March 11th.

Full story

April 18, 2014

Donor Pleads Guilty to Giving $180,000 in Contributions Through Others

A New York hotel magnate pleaded guilty Thursday to making $180,000 in contributions through straw donors to three federal campaigns.

Sant Singh Chatwal pleaded guilty to conspiracy to violate the Federal Election Campaign Act by giving in the names of others, and for witness tampering. He agreed to forfeit $1 million.

From 2007 to 2011, Chatwal, founder of Hampshire Hotels Management LLC, and founder of the Bombay Palace restaurant, operated several businesses, including restaurants, hotels and a hotel management company. He used his employees, business associates, and contractors who performed work for Chatwall Associates, to solicit contributions on Chatwal’s behalf in support of various candidates and PACs, collect these contributions, and pay reimbursements on these contributions.

Full story

April 16, 2014

Online Advertising Helps Hillary Clinton Super PAC Raise $5.7 Million

A Super PAC encouraging a presidential run by Hillary Clinton has spent over $1.5 million for online advertising during the last 15 months and raised over $5.7 million.

Ready For Hillary, a Super PAC, reported receipts of $1,705,580 and disbursements of $1,597,306 during the first quarter of 2014, leaving $857,243 cash on hand as of March 31st. During the quarter, the committee spent $375,147 on online advertising; $227,796 on direct mail production, and $209,127 on payroll.

The PAC raised $813,162 from donors giving $200 or less, and $872,100 from 933 contributions of more than $200. Of the itemized large contributions, most came from New York, California, and Pennsylvania. The occupations of ‘attorney’ and ‘retired’ were listed most often.

Major donors in the quarter included Full story

March 3, 2014

Obama’s Advocacy Group Reroutes $100K Check from Felon Seeking Pardon

A fundraiser for President Obama’s advocacy group, Organizing for Action, took steps to hide a $100,000 contribution from a New Jersey doctor who was seeking a pardon for Medicare fraud.

NBCNews reported that Organizing for Action fired Samantha Maltzman, a fundraising consultant, for her actions in trying to keep the contribution secret. Maltzman asked the donor, Dr. Joseph Piacentile, who was convicted of Medicare fraud in 1991, to write a new check made payable to a sister organization, America Votes. When NBCNews inquired about the transaction, officials at Organizing for Action located the check, before it left their offices, and returned it.

December 9, 2013

House Schedules Vote to Eliminate Taxpayer Financing of Presidential Campaigns (Updated)

The House of Representatives has scheduled a vote this week to eliminate taxpayer financing of presidential campaigns.

The House is scheduled to take up H.R. 2019 at noon on Tuesday, December 10th. The bill was introduced on May 16th by Rep. Gregg Harper, R-Miss., and has more than 150 co-sponsors. The bill would terminate the $3 taxpayer designation for financing of presidential election campaigns; the presidential election campaign fund; and the presidential matching payment account.

Full story

September 16, 2013

2016 Hopefuls: Joe Biden


Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. has a long campaign finance trail. It started prior to the creation of the Federal Election Commission  and before Watergate. Biden was first elected to the Senate in 1972 and was re-elected six times. He also ran for president in 1988 and 2008.

Biden’s Senate career numbers are located here. Biden’s 2008 presidential figures can be viewed here. Political MoneyLine has data on Biden’s 1988 presidential bid; however, the page doesn’t contain summary pages, which weren’t available at the time. You’ll need to click through the tabs to see what data was on the public record.

September 11, 2013

2016 Hopefuls: Hillary Clinton

Although not publicly declared as a candidate for the 2016 presidential race, Hillary Rodham Clinton is considered a likely candidate. With the exception of the time since resigning as secretary of State, Clinton’s personal financial data along with campaign money going back to 1999 has been on the public record.

The best starting point for examining campaign and personal funds begins at this link on Political MoneyLine. On that candidate profile, you’ll see all campaign donors, groups making independent expenditures for and against her, personal funds reports reported to the secretary of the Senate, along with related groups identified with her over time.

Be sure to view the “Career” tab to click through cycle by cycle donors for every two years. You’ll also see PAC contributions by interest group by cycle.

Note that her old campaign committee is currently disclosing over $100,000 in available cash.

September 9, 2013

2016 Presidential Money Trail

2016 Presidential Hopefuls

Thus far, Wikipedia has identified 17 potential Democratic presidential candidates and 35 potential Republican presidential candidates for 2016.  Although likely candidates aren’t immediately required to file any “testing the waters” reports, they need to be careful about funds used for early “non-campaigning” activity.  FEC regulations give candidates plenty of leeway when considering a run for president … specifically using a reasonable test for raising funds solely for testing the waters.

However, potential candidate who are current office holders or those who have held office often have pockets of money that have been set aside (sometimes for years) that might now be used to make that important trip to Iowa or New Hampshire … under the pretext of official business or non-candidate-related travel.

In the next few days, Political MoneyLine will zero in on some potential presidential candidates for 2016 and give an historical picture of each one’s past and current political spending activity at the federal level.  And, when possible, point readers to glimpses of publicly disclosed non-federal monies.

August 26, 2013

The Butler Served Contributions to the President

Rev. Jesse Jackson and Oprah Winfrey at President Obama's 2009 Inauguration

The Rev. Jesse Jackson and Oprah Winfrey at President Barack Obama’s 2009 inauguration.


The actor who portrays the butler at the White House in this summer’s movie hit, Lee Daniels’ “The Butler,” is in real life a contributor to President Barack Obama.

Forest Whitaker, who plays Cecil Gaines in the movie, gave Obama for America $2,300 in 2007 and $2,300 in 2008.  He also gave $500 in 2008 to the Democratic National Committee. In 2003, he gave $2,000 to the presidential campaign of Rep. Richard Gephardt, D-Mo.

Co-star Oprah Winfrey, who portrays Gaines’ wife Gloria, is also a presidential donor. She gave $2,300 to Obama for America in 2007 and $5,000 to Obama for America in 2012. Winfrey also gave $30,800 to the Democratic National Committee in 2012, and $5,000 in 1997. Oprah’s early endorsement, public support, and fundraisers in her home for Obama, were priceless.

Full story

August 19, 2013

Former Sen. Scott Brown Has Funds to Spend

scott brown

A former senator who is considering 2016 presidential possibilities has two fundraising accounts available for covering his travel to Iowa and other activities.

Former Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., hasn’t done fundraising in the first six months of 2013, and he has even refunded contributions. But he has kept his campaign lists current by renting them out, and he does have funds in his two PACs to cover some political activity.

Brown converted his 2012 principal campaign committee to a PAC at the end of the first quarter of 2013. It is now called The People’s Seat.  As of June 30, the PAC had $182,543 cash on hand.  In the second quarter of 2013, the PAC had receipts of $72,211, mostly from rental of his campaign lists.

In the second quarter of 2013, the PAC spent $80,920. It gave $13,000 in refunds to individuals and $7,500 in refunds to PACs. The committee spent $59,920 on operating expenditures. This included $6,150 on legal consulting; $8,319 on data management consulting; $6,500 on fundraising consulting; $12,000 on compliance consulting; as well as phone and travel expenses. The committee gave $500 to the campaign committee of Sen. John Thune, R-S.D.; $1,000 to Gail Gomez, R-Mass.; $1,000 to Sen. Mark S. Kirk, R-Ill.; and $875 for in-kind signage wires to Mike Sullivan for U.S. Senate, R-Mass.

Full story

August 17, 2013

FEC Fines McCain Presidential Campaign $80,000


The Federal Election Commission has fined the 2008 presidential campaign of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., $80,000 for campaign finance violations.

The commission reached a conciliation agreement with John McCain 2008 Inc., the McCain-Palin Compliance Fund Inc. and John Schmuckler, the treasurer of both.

The agreement states John McCain 2008 Inc. violated the law by accepting $377,657 in contributions that exceeded the limits of the Act; failed to report correctly the original dates on which $22,257,684 in contributions were received by its joint fundraising representatives; and failed to correctly report re-designations made to the compliance fund.

The McCain Compliance Fund Inc. failed to file 48-hour disclosure notices for 169 contributions  totaling $240,700 that it received prior to the general election. The fund also failed to correctly report the original dates on which contributions were received by joint fundraising representatives.

August 15, 2013

O’Malley Non-Federal PAC Pays National Polling Firm

A potential 2016 Democratic presidential candidate has reported that one of his fundraising organizations made its largest expenditure to a national polling company.

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, a Democrat, has a Section 527 political organization called O’Say Can You See PAC Non-Federal, based in Annapolis, Md. The IRS has just made public the organization’s report of contributions and expenditures for the first six months of 2013.

The organization reported it had receipts of $315,497 and disbursements of $220,950. Major donors included Full story

August 10, 2013

Rick Santorum in Iowa, but Still Paying Down Presidential Debts


Former presidential candidates and politicians who are out of office always have a hard time raising funds, but sometimes they aren’t really trying that hard.

Former Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., who won the Iowa Republican caucuses and 11 state primaries in his 2012 presidential campaign, still has $552,895 in debts outstanding.

Although he has spent the last three days in Iowa, his 2013 fundraising has been almost nonexistent. His $138,396 in receipts in the first six months have been mostly from renting his donor lists out to others. For example, Patriot Voices Inc. (Pa.) paid the presidential campaign committee $75,000 as a partial payment on a list purchase. His presidential committee has $11,660 in cash on hand as of June 30. Full story

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