Democratic candidates for president have sworn off corporate PAC money, but the Democratic National Committee took in more than $155,000 in funds from corporate PACs in July, ahead of a major DNC meeting this weekend that 2020 candidates will attend.
The donations flowed in from PACs linked to the audit and consulting firm Deloitte, drug company Pfizer, the National Association of Realtors and the law firm Duane Morris. Deloitte was the biggest contributor, giving the DNC $90,000 in July, according to newly available campaign finance disclosures.
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The DNC raised additional money from PACs earlier this year, but the funds raised in July represent a sharp uptick in corporate PAC money raised by the Democratic committee in 2019. The DNC and other Democratic committees have not pledged to back away from corporate PAC contributions, despite some activist pressure to follow the lead of many Democratic candidates. The DNC’s Republican counterpart, the Republican National Committee, also raises money from PACs.
Labor union groups, including the American Federation Of State, County & Municipal Employees; American Federation of Teachers; and the United Auto Workers, also collectively contributed more than $500,000 to the DNC last month.
Some of the PAC contributions came to the DNC as part of the committee’s solicitations for a major fundraiser it is throwing on Thursday in San Francisco, a DNC spokesperson said, but the spokesperson did not elaborate on which donations were connected to the event. Thirteen presidential candidates are slated to be in San Francisco this week for the DNC meeting.
Overall, the Democratic National Committee raised $7.7 million in July — including $355,000 from San Francisco tech billionaire Reid Hoffman — and spent $7.9 million. The committee ended the month with $9 million cash on hand.
The RNC raised $20.8 million, more than twice as much as its Democratic counterpart, and spent $17.7 million. The committee ended the month with $46.6 million cash on hand.
Casino mogul Sheldon Adelson and his wife, Miriam, donated a combined $284,000 to the RNC in July, making them one of the RNC’s biggest donors last month.
But the donations came at a cost for the RNC: The same day the Adelsons donated to the RNC, the committee spent $20,000 on outlays marked as “travel expenses” at Adelson’s Venetian Resort. The RNC also gave $17,000 to the Nevada Republican Central Committee in July.