TIME Lobbying

Alcohol Distributors Ply Statehouses to Keep Profits Flowing

rhinegeist
Rhinegeist Brewery

Rhinegeist Brewery invested $250,000 in trucks and employees to bring its beers into Kentucky, just a few miles from its fledgling brewery in downtown Cincinnati.

Sales boomed in the “thirsty” Kentucky market, said brewery co-founder Bryant Goulding.

But in March, just three months after the deliveries began, the legislature there voted to make Rhinegeist’s distribution business illegal.

“We were crestfallen, heartbroken, disappointed, really frustrated by the political process,” Goulding said. “We felt like we really didn’t have genuine access or really didn’t get genuine consideration from a lot of the politicians.”

Rhinegeist had run into a little-known but powerful political force at play in nearly every state: alcohol distributors. They don’t brew the beer, and they don’t serve it. But as wholesalers who function as the legally mandated middlemen between alcohol makers and retailers, they have a wide-ranging influence on the booze Americans drink, marking up prices and controlling the growth of craft brewers and small wineries.

Alcohol distribution is a $135 billion industry in the U.S. that has made many rich, including Cindy McCain, head of her family’s beer distributing company and wife of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. To protect the post-Prohibition regulations that guarantee their business, wholesalers bankroll scores of lobbyists and give millions of dollars in contributions in election seasons. And because wholesalers are often local, family-run, American-owned businesses, they are popular with politicians.

“The beer wholesalers are a lot like the teachers unions,” said John Conlin, a Colorado management consultant who works with beverage companies. “The teachers unions have incredible clout, too, and the reason is there are teachers in every congressional district out there… And historically that was the same with beer wholesalers.”

But recently two economic forces have encroached on wholesalers’ power and territory, putting them on defense: big multinational brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev, which boasts $47 billion in annual revenue; and the burgeoning craft beer industry that wants more freedom to distribute its own beer, offer tastings in new places or sell to-go containers called growlers.

At least 22 states had bills in 2015 seeking to allow alcohol makers to circumvent distributors and sell their products directly to customers, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

They faced firm opposition this year because state alcohol wholesaler alliances had at least 315 registered lobbyists spread across every state and the District of Columbia, except Wyoming, according to a Center for Public Integrity analysis of state records.

And alcohol distributors are by far the most involved in state politics out of those in the booze business. They gave roughly $14.6 million to state candidates, parties and ballot issue groups in the 2014 elections, while alcohol manufacturers gave about $5.3 million and retailers gave roughly $2 million, according to data from the National Institute on Money in State Politics.

They are politically active on the federal level, too, but because alcohol is largely regulated at the state and local level, wholesalers aim most of their political firepower at statehouses. Their giving in 2014 state races was more than double the approximately $5.9 million that they gave for congressional contests.

“As local businesses representing Main Street America, beer distributors take pride in participating in the political process and support a wide range of candidates,” the National Beer Wholesalers Association’s spokeswoman Kathleen Joyce said in an email.

Using that political firepower, wholesalers defended their economic turf this year in several states, including Kentucky, Georgia and North Carolina, by advocating for the exclusive right to distribute alcohol. And now wholesalers are also trying to expand their turf by going after the legal recreational marijuana market proposed in Nevada.

This winter, 38 lobbyists roamed the halls of the Kentucky State Capitol, employed by one side or the other of the beer debate. The alcohol bill they were discussing, lawmakers joked, was the Lobbyist Full Employment Act of 2015.

“You couldn’t walk the halls without a lobbyist from one side or the other wanting to be in your ear,” said Sen. Jimmy Higdon, a Republican from Lebanon in central Kentucky.

Wholesalers were pushing a bill that prevented brewers from owning a license to distribute beer — a move to close a long-overlooked gap in Kentucky’s regulatory system and effectively force Anheuser-Busch InBev to auction off its two distributorships in Kentucky.

Rhinegeist, with its newly opened distribution business, was also hit.

“We were just kind of a gnat caught between these two Mack trucks colliding,” Goulding said.

Anheuser-Busch InBev owned a distributorship in Louisville for decades. In 2014, it bought another one in Owensboro, a move that set off alarm bells among wholesalers who worried the beer giant would corner the market as part of a reported campaign to buy more distributorships.

Wineries, breweries and distilleries are generally required by state laws to hire separate distributors to get their drinks to customers, with exceptions that vary by state. States made these rules after Prohibition: some acting to avoid returning to the days of saloons controlled by major alcohol producers that pushed drunkenness; some to decentralize the industry and its political power; and others motivated by former bootleggers with political ties who wanted to stay in business as state-mandated wholesalers.

Today, distributors are in a power position. They can stifle the growth of craft breweries or small wineries by refusing to distribute their products. Or they can foster them by helping them reach customers they couldn’t efficiently reach on their own. Having separate distributors can also push up the price of alcohol.

Some public health advocates credit the layers of regulation that come from this middleman-style system for helping prevent cheap or dangerous libations from creeping into the market in a country where alcohol is already the third leading lifestyle-related cause of death.

Yet Daniel Okrent, author of “Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition,” called the public health arguments sanctimonious and said there’s no evidence that wholesalers protect public health. “They are essentially protecting what is in effect a quasi-monopoly business,” he said. “They are very powerful political lobbies with a great deal of money.”

In Kentucky, wholesalers turned to the legislature to bar Anheuser-Busch InBev from having a piece of their market, just as wholesalers have successfully done in eight other states since 2010, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Two Kentucky distributorships in particular, Chas. Seligman Distributing Company and Kentucky Eagle Inc., led the charge against Anheuser-Busch. Their executives and employees have given at least $213,000 to state and local elections since 2000, according to a Center for Public Integrity analysis of state records. Kentucky Eagle’s owner Ann Bakhaus gave more than $124,000 of that, including $13,300 last year. She said she had her business in mind when she did so.

“Our business is highly regulated,” she said. “There’s a whole lot of parts and pieces to it, and so I’m always trying to watch out for our business and for our state, too.”

During the 2014 elections alone, the Kentucky Beer Wholesalers Association gave more than $14,000 to Kentucky lawmakers. Comparatively, Anheuser-Busch has given little — just one $500 donation in 2008, according to the National Institute on Money in State Politics. Neither alcohol group responded to multiple requests for comment.

Both sides lobbied hard. And both sides took to the airwaves. Wholesalers spent $151,000 on Facebook, newspaper, TV and radio ads, state records show. Anheuser-Busch, while outspent in political contributions, tried to make up for it with nearly $330,000 in advertising.

“Greedy special interests are trying to run Anheuser-Busch out of the state, seeking for them to close a business they’ve owned for nearly 40 years,” said a TV ad from the beer company.

In the end, though, it wasn’t even close. The wholesalers’ bill passed the Senate 23-13 and the House 67-31. The world’s largest brewer and Rhinegeist lost. Anheuser-Busch InBev said Tuesday it plans to shed its Kentucky distributorships. Rhinegeist has already dismantled its distribution business there.

Rep. Adam Koenig, a Republican from Erlanger, fears the law will have a broader chilling effect.

“After seeing Rhinegeist basically have the rug pulled out from under them, and a company that’s been operating legally with no complaints for 30 years be forced to divest, it makes you think twice about opening a business in Kentucky,” he said.

Limiting the craft brewers

This spring, North Carolina state Rep. Chuck McGrady, a Republican from Hendersonville, sent his colleagues a draft of a bill he planned to introduce. The bill would have helped local craft breweries by allowing them to distribute more of their own beer. Not long after, two of the co-sponsors called and asked him to remove their names.

“Those legislators told me the beer and wine wholesalers in their area had already called and they were big contributors to the campaign,” McGrady said. “They still supported the bill, but they didn’t want to be on it. It was really rather striking.”

Craft brewing had taken off in North Carolina, as it has in the rest of the country. The number of craft breweries in the U.S. more than doubled from 2008 to 2014, reaching 3,418, according to the Brewers Association, a national craft brewers group based in Boulder, Colo. And they’re getting more organized — the U.S. now has local craft brewers associations in every state.

In North Carolina this year, craft brewers saw an opportunity to improve state laws to allow them to grow. Currently, brewers in North Carolina can distribute 25,000 barrels of their own beer. If they want to grow larger, they must hire a distributor for all of their beer, a move some breweries are loath to make.

McGrady’s bill would have given brewers slightly more wiggle room by not counting beer sold at taverns (usually only a few thousand barrels) toward the 25,000-barrel limit.

But North Carolina Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association Executive Director Tim Kent said his members didn’t want to cede any ground and opposed McGrady’s bill and a similar one.

“North Carolina already has by far the most progressive beer laws of any state from Virginia to Texas,” he said. “You’ve got a small group of brewers who are trying to deregulate the industry…at the expense of public health.”

Alcohol wholesalers in North Carolina have given more than $740,000 to state lawmakers since 1996, according to data from the National Institute on Money in State Politics. They had seven registered lobbyists working this spring. On the other side, the craft brewers together had four registered lobbyists but had given comparatively little to political candidates.

“We’re putting a lot of money into growing our business and making sure we’re getting new equipment and hiring people and stuff like that,” said Erik Lars Myers, the president of North Carolina Craft Brewers Guild and the founder of Mystery Brewing Company in Hillsborough. “That means that we don’t have a lot of extra money to spend on lobbying. They have a significant financial advantage over us.”

Both bills stalled when a committee co-chairman, Rep. James Boles, wouldn’t let them be heard, brewers said.

Boles, a Republican from Moore County, received more than $17,000 from alcohol wholesalers for his unopposed 2014 re-election, including $5,000 from the North Carolina Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association PAC. Aside from the money he gave his own campaign, the association is Boles’ second most generous donor over the course of his six-year career in the statehouse, according to the National Institute on Money in State Politics. He did not respond to requests for comment.

The bills’ failures mean that at least four craft breweries in the state won’t expand, hire more people or make more of their specialized local beer, Myers said.

“There’s going to be a lot of people who want beer who won’t be able to get it,” he said.

Settling for compromise

A similar story played out in Georgia this spring, when brewers put forward a bill that would have allowed breweries to sell a limited amount of beer directly to customers who visited. What they wound up with instead was the ability to offer free beer to patrons who pay for a tour.

“We don’t sell you beer, but we take your money and you leave with beer,” said Nick Purdy, president of Wild Heaven Craft Beers just outside of Atlanta. “It’s a bit of a theater of the absurd.”

Georgia Craft Brewers Guild Executive Director Nancy Palmer said it was the guild’s first time going up against the longstanding relationships the wholesalers have built, in some cases over generations.

“The wholesalers are astute politicians,” she said. “If I were in their position, I would be doing exactly what they do. The depth and breadth of their influence is certainly formidable.”

Alcohol distributors in Georgia have given nearly $1.2 million in contributions to state lawmakers since 1992, according to data from the National Institute on Money in State Politics. They also invite lawmakers to an annual, paid conference at a seaside resort. The state distributor association did not return requests for comment.

The man credited with reworking the bill to allow only paid tours and free beer, Sen. Rick Jeffares, has received $6,900 from wholesalers since 2010, including $4,750 out of the $81,000 he raised for his unopposed re-election bid in 2014. The Republican from McDonough, south of Atlanta, did not respond to requests for comment.

Still, for the brewers it wasn’t a total loss. Palmer said they were pleased to get at least the compromise that allows them to sell tours.

Finding new territory

Wholesalers are now flexing political muscle not just to protect their current businesses, but to enter a new market: marijuana distribution.

Alcohol salesmen often see pot as a competitor vying for consumers’ dollars. And liquor industry advocates have bristled at pot activists’ assertions that marijuana is safer than alcohol.

But wholesalers in Nevada gave a combined $87,500 to a 2016 ballot measure campaign to legalize recreational marijuana there — about 13 percent of the amount raised through December, according to the most recent report available. The ballot initiative, if passed, would mandate that for the first 18 months of legal weed, only licensed alcohol distributors could distribute the drug, giving the alcohol wholesalers a head start in the pot distribution business.

Backers of the initiative consulted with alcohol distributors when they wrote the measure to avoid a fight. The 18-month window allows experienced distributors to help get the industry off the ground, according to campaign spokesman Joe Brezny.

“Experience matters,” he said.

For those without political connections, access to new markets is proving more difficult. Back in Cincinnati, Rhinegeist Brewery gave up finding new turf on its own. Instead, it’s re-entering Kentucky through a wholesaler. It’s a move co-founder Goulding thinks will work out well for sales, but he’s still disappointed.

“It seems really strange that government can come and, something that was legal a few months ago, just take it away,” he said.

This story is from The Center for Public Integrity, a nonprofit, nonpartisan investigative media organization in Washington, D.C. Read more of its investigations on the influence of money in politics or follow it on Twitter.

TIME Scott Walker

NBA Investor Backed Scott Walker Super PAC Before Stadium Push

Scott Walker, governor of Wisconsin and Republican U.S. 2016 presidential candidate, waves after speaking during The Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa, U.S., on Saturday, July 18, 2015.
Daniel Acker—© Bloomberg Finance LP 2015 Scott Walker, governor of Wisconsin and Republican U.S. 2016 presidential candidate, waves after speaking during The Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa, U.S., on Saturday, July 18, 2015.

On the day before Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker launched a push this spring to spend $250 million in public funds on a new arena for the Milwaukee Bucks, the super PAC promoting Walker’s presidential campaign received a large check.

The May 27 donation to Unintimidated PAC, for $150,000, came from a limited liability corporation connected to Jon Hammes, a Milwaukee-area businessman and investor in the NBA franchise, as first reported by the Capital Times. Hammes has since signed on as a national finance co-chairman of Walker’s presidential campaign.

A Walker campaign aide noted the stadium deal, designed to keep the Bucks from bolting Milwaukee, had been brewing for months before the two-term governor announced his support for the latest proposal on May 28. The aide told TIME it was “a dangerous leap” to imply the decision to back the agreement was made for the benefit of an influential donor. Hammes has long been a supporter of Walker, donating more than $15,000 to Walker since 2005.

It’s not clear that the deal brought any political benefits for Walker’s presidential campaign. Free-market think tanks and powerful conservative organizations that have long been supporters of the governor denounced the use of public money to help finance a stadium for the team’s billionaire owners. Among them was the Wisconsin branch of Americans for Prosperity, the Koch-backed group that played a significant role in Walker’s election victories.

If the Bucks owners gained from the agreement, Hammes was not the only—or even the primary—beneficiary. One of the club’s majority owners, financier Marc Lasry, is a top fundraiser for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. Others have also donated to Democratic candidates.

Walker has cast the arena deal as a way to protect taxpayers from the loss of current and future tax revenue that would ensue if the Bucks skipped town.

“This plan protects taxpayers from the loss of current and future tax revenue generated by the Bucks and visiting teams and supports a new arena without tax increases or state bonding,” Laurel Patrick, a spokeswoman for the governor, told TIME in June.

Unintimidated PAC, which like other super PACs is permitted to raise and spend unlimited sums in support of its favored candidate, is prohibited from coordinating with Walker’s campaign. While Walker was not yet a candidate at the time of the donation, his pre-campaign and super PAC had already established a so-called firewall preventing coordination in accordance with Federal Election Commission rules.

The Wisconsin legislature approved the arena deal last month in a pair of bipartisan votes.

TIME Campaign Finance

Few New Mega-Donors Join 2016 Fundraising

Jeb Bush
John Raoux—AP In this July 27, 2015 file photo, Republican presidential candidate, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush speaks in Longwood, Fla.

Correction appended, Aug. 4

The 2016 presidential race may be a whole new ball game in terms of fundraising, but most of the players’ names are awfully familiar — even if their faces are a bit more lined.

Very few of the top donors to the super PACs backing one of the many GOP White House hopefuls or handful of Democratic candidates are new to giving substantial political gifts, according to a review of Federal Election Commission data by the Center for Responsive Politics, and many have been active for decades.

The relative absence of new faces in the very small pool of really big donors magnifies the impact of ultra-wealthy individuals who have been participating in the process for years — the Robert McNairs, Jeffrey Katzenbergs and Richard Uihleins of the fundraising world.

But they are anteing up more than ever before as their favored candidates’ campaigns become ever more intertwined with the super PACs, announcing combined fundraising totals and splitting up activities, like voter outreach, that once were firmly functions of the campaign committees — not the supposedly independent outside groups.

While there are no complete ingenues among the rosters of top donors to the super PACs, which filed their disclosure reports for the first half of the year this week, there are a few who previously haven’t given sums anything like those they are notching this year. They include the Texas-based Wilks family, four members of which gave $15 million to groups backing Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas); brothers Farris and Dan are religious conservatives who got rich in the fracking business. Another: Laura Perlmutter, who gave $2 million to a super PAC supporting Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.).

The pure numbers are staggering: In the 2012 election cycle, all super PACs together had raised about $26 million by June 30 of the year before the vote; presidential super PACs were responsible for about $15.6 million. This time, the total comes to more than $258 million at the same point in time for presidential super PACs alone.

That’s about double the more than $130 million the presidential campaigns raised in the first six months of this year, setting up a new paradigm for campaign finance at the federal level. Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton, with combined totals of $114 million and $71 million respectively, have settled themselves atop the all time list of presidential campaign-related fundraising in the first six months of the year before the election.

Several of the Republican efforts have been utterly dominated by outside groups raising unlimited amounts from individuals, corporations and other organizations. Seven Republican candidates reported larger fundraising totals for their supposedly unconnected super PACs than they disclosed for their campaigns, with the pro-Bush Right to Rise group pulling in nearly 10 times as much as the campaign itself.

A caveat, though: Absent this super PAC fundraising, the candidates themselves are lagging far behind the pace set in 2007, the last campaign with no incumbent seeking re-election. Six of the seven largest fundraising totals at this point in all prior cycles came in 2007 when Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani, John McCain and John Edwards all raised more than $23 million by June 30. Only four of this year’s competitors (Bush, Clinton, Cruz and Rubio) have reached that level for their campaigns and super PACs combined.

One important impact of super PAC activity in the 2012 presidential race could be looming again itself again in the earliest stages of the 2016 contest. These groups, which allow candidates to benefit from the seemingly limitless financial support of a small number of ardent and affluent supporters, can keep campaigns going long after they ordinarily would have died a natural death.

In 2012 the campaigns of former Rep. Newt Gingrich (Ga.), former Sen. Rick Santorum (Penn.) and other Republicans were prolonged by funding in the tens of millions from a handful of supporters. Friday’s filings show that contributions from five or fewer donors make up the majority of the super PAC funding for nine of the GOP candidates: Rubio, Rand Paul, Cruz, Rick Perry, Carly Fiorina, Bobby Jindal, Scott Walker, Mike Huckabee and Santorum. In many cases, the money given by five or fewer individuals or institutions is more than the total given by all individuals directly to the presidential campaign committees of these contenders.

Some donors have hedged their bets, giving large amounts to groups backing multiple candidates. Hedge fund manager Robert Mercer, for instance, was among the top three donors to super PACs backing both Jindal and Cruz, though he gave far more to the pro-Cruz effort. Houston Texans owner Robert McNair was more equitable, giving $500,000 each to super PACs backing no less than four Republican candidates: Security is Strength (Graham), Unintimidated (Walker), Keep the Promise (Cruz) and Right to Rise USA (Bush).

Only a few of the 17 declared Republican candidates, five Democrats, or the Green Party entry lacks at least one supporting super PAC, including Sen. Bernie Sanders(D-Vt.), former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee and Green Party candidate Jill Stein. On the other hand, Paul has at least two major super PACs in his corner, andCruz has four, each of which seems to have been “purchased” by one or two mega-donors and has a name that is some version of “Keep the Promise.”

What’s a wealthy donor to do? The two primary outside groups supporting Hillary Clinton’s campaign have addressed the potential for confusion by organizing a joint fundraising committee to distribute funds among themselves — one-stop shopping that keeps prospective contributors from having to choose and the groups from having to compete for checks. Priorities USA Action will get the bulk of the funds, with a smaller share going to Correct the Record, the group that fights attacks on the former secretary of state.

The Center for Responsive Politics is a nonpartisan research group focused on money in politics.

Correction: The original version of this story misstated which super PACs had raised about $26 million for the 2012 election cycle by June 30, 2011. That was the total amount raised by that date for all super PACs.

TIME Campaign Finance

Super PACs’ Haul So Far Tops $266 Million

Republican presidential candidate and former Florida governor Jeb Bush speaks to workers at Thumbtack on July 16, 2015 in San Francisco, California.
Justin Sullivan—Getty Images Republican presidential candidate and former Florida governor Jeb Bush speaks to workers at Thumbtack on July 16, 2015 in San Francisco, California.

That's 17 times as much as they did in 2012

Presidential super PACs operating expansive shadow campaigns — buying ads, hosting town hall meetings and hiring canvassers — have raised more than twice as much money as the candidates themselves, newly filed campaign finance documents show.

About three dozen such super PACs collectively raised more than $266 million from January through June while the campaigns of 2016 presidential hopefuls collectively raised just half that much — about $130 million — according to a Center for Public Integrity review.

The total raised by super PACs is about 17 times more than comparable groups raised during the same period four years ago, when the term “super PAC” had yet to make it into the dictionary.

Super PACs, made possible thanks to the 2010 U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision, can accept unlimited donations from corporations, unions and individuals. They may use the funds to support or oppose candidates, but are prohibited from coordinating their spending with campaigns.

Leading in the money chase: Right to Rise USA, a group that supports former Florida Republican Gov. Jeb Bush, which raised more than $103 million.

Bush helped raise millions for the group, despite the anti-coordination rules. Bush attended numerous fundraising events for the super PAC, but got around the prohibition by making appearances prior to announcing his 2016 candidacy.

Two dozen donors each gave Right to Rise USA at least $1 million during the year’s first half, with about 90 percent of it coming before Bush officially launched his campaign in June. One of those million-dollar donors was NextEra Energy, a Florida-based Fortune 200 energy company.

A pair of famous Texas retirees also made handsome donations to Right to Rise USA: former presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, who gave $125,000 and $95,000, respectively.

Millionaires club

While the pro-Bush super PAC dominated all others, a cluster of five super PACs supporting the presidential candidacy of Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, raised about $38 million.

Two groups backing Republican Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin raised more than $26 million.

And a super PAC backing Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., raised about $16 million.

In each case, the super PACs raised more than the candidates themselves — sometimes many times over. Bush’s official campaign, for instance, has collected just $11 million to date.

Never before have super PACs played such a prominent role in a presidential contest — especially so early in the process. Now, nearly every major candidate has a super PAC doppelganger.

Among the Republican contenders, only celebrity business tycoon Donald Trump, who so far has self-funded the bulk of his campaign, doesn’t yet have an allied super PAC capable of raising significant cash.

This represents a dramatic shift from four years ago.

At this stage of the 2012 presidential election, only President Barack Obama and eventual Republican nominee Mitt Romney enjoyed the support of aligned super PACs. Super PACs supporting many 2012 GOP hopefuls did not form until the fall or winter of 2011.

“The first thing I’m going to do as a presidential candidate is see if there’s a super PAC out there to support me, or someone willing to form a super PAC to help me,” said John Grimaldi, a political operative who worked for a pro-Newt Gingrich super PAC in 2012 but is not working for a campaign or super PAC this election cycle.

“A super PAC eliminates a major portion of your campaign expenditures as a candidate,” Grimaldi continued. “It makes it easier to run.”

Why? The answer, in part, is that deep-pocketed donors who are prohibited from donating large sums of money directly to the candidates themselves may give unlimited amounts to super PACs — as may corporations and labor unions.

No limits, no problem

Candidates may only accept donations of $2,700 per person, per election, and $5,000 per election from corporate or labor political action committees.

“We are not subject to contribution limits like the campaigns are, so that certainly helps build resources to get our message out,” said Jordan Russell, spokesman for the Opportunity and Freedom PAC, which is backing former Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s White House run.

The Opportunity and Freedom PAC has already spent more than $2.3 million on advertisements touting Perry — more than twice as much as the Republican’s presidential campaign raised through the end of June.

This dynamic frustrates many of the presidential contenders, and some, including Cruz, are openly calling for contribution limits to candidates to be eliminated entirely.

“Our current campaign finance system is ridiculous,” Cruz told the Center for Public Integrity in a recent interview. “The way to do it is to let campaigns speak for themselves directly.”

Even grassroots favorites, such as Republican Ben Carson, a former neurosurgeon, have allied super PACs.

One super PAC working on Carson’s behalf raised $13.5 million last year and another $2.9 million during the first half of 2015, while Carson’s campaign, which was launched in May, has raised $10.6 million.

“I personally have not gone around chasing after billionaires and special interest groups,” Carson told the Center for Public Integrity. “We’re getting an enormous response from the grassroots. That’s the people that I want to be beholden to.”

Wealthy donors have certainly helped fuel the super PAC spree — and many of them are hedging their bets and supporting multiple White House contenders in a field that’s grown to 17 Republicans and five Democrats.

Hedging their bets

Rich donors flirting with multiple Republican candidates spread, in some cases, millions of dollars among super PACs backing different candidates. This continues a trend that first emerged after presidential candidates themselves released campaign disclosures earlier this month.

Take hedge fund billionaire Robert Mercer, who laid down $11 million to a pro-Cruz super PAC called Keep the Promise I, making him practically the sole funder.

That’s a pretty big investment.

But surprisingly, Keep the Promise I steered $500,000 to a super PAC backing Cruz rival Carly Fiorina — presumably at Mercer’s direction, and possibly a sign that were Cruz to falter or withdraw, Mercer could direct the super PAC elsewhere.

On top of that, Mercer wrote a $250,000 check to Believe Again, a super PAC supporting Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s Republican presidential bid.

Then there’s former Univision CEO Jerry Perenchio, who was the biggest donor to the super PAC backing Fiorina, who gave nearly $1.6 million. He also gave $100,000 to the pro-Bush Right to Rise USA super PAC.

Meanwhile, Robert McNair, the billionaire owner of the NFL’s Houston Texans, donated $500,000 apiece to super PACs backing Republicans Bush, Cruz, Walker and Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.

An investment firm tied to Manoj Bhargava, the politically active founder of beverage company 5-hour Energy, similarly placed multiple six-figure bets on super PACs supporting three GOP presidential candidates, all governors.

The company, called ETC Capital LLC, gave $150,000 to America Leads, a super PAC backing New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, $150,000 to the Unintimidated PAC, which supports Walker, and $100,000 to the pro-Jindal Believe Again super PAC.

Bhargava’s investment firm was among the top five donors last year to the Republican Governors Association, so it’s perhaps not surprising that the firm would back three current Republican governors seeking the White House, two of whom — Christie and Jindal — are past RGA chairs.

Even Marlene Ricketts, the matriarch of the family that owns the Chicago Cubs baseball team and the mother of Walker’s campaign finance chairman, Todd Ricketts, spread her money around.

She donated $10,000 each to groups backing Bush, Christie, Cruz, Graham, Perry and Rubio.

But her largest donation — $4.9 million — went to Walker’s Unintimidated PAC, representing a quarter of the super PAC’s take.

Working closer with candidates

Bradley Crate, chief financial officer for Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign, said that four years ago, super PAC leaders proceeded with a measure of caution, afraid of violating laws that restricted how they interfaced with political candidates.

Today, such fears have largely dissipated, with the ideologically gridlocked Federal Election Commission often unable to agree on how to interpret and regulate the most basic of election law matters.

This gives super PACs the opportunity to work more intimately with candidates. Some are even absorbing many of the responsibilities traditionally reserved for a candidate’s own campaign, said Crate, now president of Red Curve Solutions, a Massachusetts-based campaign finance consulting firm.

“That’s what I would do,” he said.

Alex Cohen and Chris Zubak-Skees contributed to this report.

This story is from The Center for Public Integrity, a nonprofit, nonpartisan investigative news organization in Washington, D.C. To read more of their reporters’ work, go here or follow them on Twitter.

TIME Campaign Finance

Why Some Donors Gave to Multiple Republican Candidates

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, speaks with reporters as he emerges from the Senate chamber following a series or rare Sunday votes on July 26, 2015.
Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, speaks with reporters as he emerges from the Senate chamber following a series or rare Sunday votes on July 26, 2015.

Houston entrepreneur Michael Rydin has contributed to five Republican presidential candidates so far: Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Rick Perry and Carly Fiorina. But he’s not done. The software developer is now considering giving money to Donald Trump as well.

“I want to get a discussion going. Controversy gets people talking,” he said. “I know Trump is unlikely to become the president, but he gets other candidates talking on issues that they would otherwise avoid.”

Rydin is part of a select group of Republican donors who have given to more than one candidate in the crowded 2016 presidential primary. A TIME analysis of first-quarter campaign financial reports showed at least 971 people have given to two or more Republican candidates.

With an unprecedented 16 candidates running for office, donors who might support more than one candidate have more options than ever. And some are taking advantage of the opportunity to endorse more than one campaign.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz has received the most donations from people who also gave to a rival candidate. The most popular combination of donations was Cruz and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, with at least 206 people giving to both, followed by Cruz and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, with at least 183 contributing to both.

Kenneth Abramowitz, a financial analyst in Connecticut, argues that “the more Republican voices, the better.” Abramowitz gave a total of $10,400 to the four Republican candidates who held breakfast and lunch events in his area: Jeb Bush, Carson, Rubio and Cruz.

Shelley Payer, a retired Florida banker who has given to three campaigns, says she gave to the candidates who interested her: Rubio, Paul and Carson.

“Everybody has something to say,” she said.

TIME 2016 Election

Here’s Why These Donors Gave to Both Hillary Clinton and a Republican

Hillary Clinton, former U.S. secretary of state and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, pauses while speaking during the Iowa Democratic Party Hall of Fame Celebration dinner in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, U.S., on Friday, July 17, 2015.
Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images Hillary Clinton, former U.S. secretary of state and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, pauses while speaking during the Iowa Democratic Party Hall of Fame Celebration dinner in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, U.S., on Friday, July 17, 2015.

John Catsimatidis says he’ll do whatever it takes to support his friends.

That’s why the billionaire businessman, who owns a grocery store chain in Manhattan, a real estate firm and a Greek-American newspaper, donated to both Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush in the primary. Catsimatidis helped pay for the chapel at Camp David during George H.W. Bush’s term as President; reports say the Clintons sometimes make use of Catsimatidis’s private jet.

So he gave $2,700 each to Clinton and Bush’s campaigns.

“When friends are running for office you do whatever you have to do,” he said. “If Hillary Clinton was the nominee in the Democratic Party and Jeb Bush was the nominee in the Republican Party, I would go to sleep early on election night because regardless of who got elected our country would be in good shape.”

But that didn’t stop him from also donating $5,400 to Ted Cruz: “He was full of piss and vinegar and caught my fancy.”

Catsimatidis is one of at least 40 people who have donated to both Hillary Clinton and one of her GOP rivals this cycle. Their reasons vary: for some, like Catsimatidis, it comes down to friendship, although not necessarily with the candidates themselves.

Steven Schram, an attorney at Shapiro Lifschitz and Schram, donated to Hillary Clinton and Marco Rubio as a favor to his friends: “I generally to not contribute to political candidates,” he said, noting that he’s registered as an Independent. “My two contributions this year were accommodations to friends supporting Clinton and Rubio. … My friends asked me to support their candidate.”

For people like Robert Millman, on the other hand, it’s business. Millman, an attorney at Littler Mendolson, said he thinks electing Clinton “would not be in the best interest of the United States,” but he had to donate to her because of a professional commitment. He said the country “desperately needs” a Republican president, and he donated $250 to Marco Rubio in order to attend one of Rubio’s speeches. But he still hasn’t decided which candidate he will ultimately vote for. “I have no dog in this race. I have an open mind,” he said. “But I will not bring myself to vote for Hillary Clinton.”

David Stevens, the CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association who served in the Obama Administration as the Assistant Secretary of Housing, said he donated to Clinton and Bush because they were the two candidates that would best deal with housing issues. “It’s not a party focus, it comes down to my interest to make certain whoever gets in office has the depth and ability to deal with these complex issues and has these issues in the policy menu of things they’re thinking of coming in,” he said.

Others have loftier ideological goals, giving money on both sides of the aisle to advance a cause or a personal mission. “Since I loathe the hyper-partisanship of our culture, I make a point of giving to candidates of each party, every four years,” said journalist Mayhill Fowler, giving $2,700 to Clinton and $250 to Bush.

As for Patricia Lizarraga, it’s about cracking glass ceilings. The managing partner of Hypatia Capital Group donated $500 to both Clinton and Carly Fiorina and said her donations were about promoting female leaders, regardless of party. “I’m a firm believer that the more women that participate as senior executives in the United States and around the globe, the better the outcomes will be for everybody,” she said. “If there were a third [woman] in the fray, I would support her as well.”

Clinton’s campaign has raised more than $46 million since April; Jeb Bush’s campaign had raised $11.4 million by July 9, and his Super PAC had raised $103 million.

TIME Campaign Finance

Major Donors Hedge Their Bets in 2016 Race

Democratic U.S. presidential hopeful and former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks to members of the media July 14, 2015 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.
Alex Wong— 2015 Getty Images Democratic U.S. presidential hopeful and former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks to members of the media July 14, 2015 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.

One donor gave to Hillary Clinton as well as Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz and Lindsey Graham

It’s speed dating season for presidential campaign contributors.

More than 1,000 donors — including some of the nation’s most prominent political benefactors — are hedging their bets by spreading contributions among multiple White House hopefuls, according to a Center for Public Integrity analysis of new campaign finance disclosures and interviews with top fundraisers.

Most double-donors have divided their loyalties among the 2016 presidential race’s legion of Republicans — a field 15 candidates strong and still growing.

Meanwhile, a few liberal contributors are backing both Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton and one of her four primary challengers. A handful are even donating to Democrats and Republicans, the Center for Public Integrity’s analysis of contributions for the three months ending June 30 indicates.

Equally notable as most presidential candidates on Wednesday filed their first campaign cash disclosures: About half of the nation’s top 100 political donors during the past six years — as identified by the Center for Responsive Politics — haven’t yet donated to any of them, suggesting they haven’t settled on a favorite as yet.

Super contributors still keeping their checkbooks closed when presidential candidates come calling include the likes of conservative billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, as well as hedge fund manager Ken Griffin, TD Ameritrade founder J. Joe Ricketts and coal executive Joe Craft.

These megadonors are not only capable of helping presidential candidates’ own committees with modest contributions, but can also pour millions of dollars into super PACs and outside groups supporting their chosen candidates.

Such giving — legal thanks largely to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision five years ago in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission — can almost single-handedly shift the contours of a presidential race.

So far, the amounts volunteered by outside groups, like super PACs and nonprofits — at least on the Republican side — have dwarfed amounts raised by candidate committees.

Donations to outside groups are unlimited while a contribution to a candidate is capped at $2,700 per election, creating an even greater incentive for campaigns to lock in wealthy activists’ support.

“People are still on the sidelines,” confirmed Gaylord Hughey, a longtime Republican donor and fundraiser in east Texas who is currently raising money for former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

The nation’s top 100 political donors reflect that: Twenty-four of them have invested early money in any GOP presidential candidates, according to the Center for Public Integrity’s analysis.

Of them, 10 have financially supported more than one.

Robert McNair, the owner of the Houston Texans, has even donated to three: Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Marco Rubio of Florida.

Meanwhile, about two dozen of the 100 have already donated to Democrat Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

They include Chicago media mogul Fred Eychaner, DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg, philanthropist Alida Rockefeller Messinger, Texas trial lawyer Amber Mostyn and entertainment mogul Haim Saban.

One — David desJardins, a software engineer who was an early Google employee — has donated to Democrat Martin O’Malley, the former Maryland governor running against Clinton.

So many choices

Donors spreading wealth to multiple candidates offer varying reasons for their approach to Election 2016.

Take New York City venture capitalist Ken Abramowitz, a staunch Mitt Romney supporter in 2012 who’s already contributed to six Republican candidates this election cycle — Bush, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, Rubio, Cruz, Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

“I’m right now in the learning phase and I’m trying to learn about the candidates, learn about their thinking, their capabilities of being president,” he said.

Abramowitz said his contributions were all made so he could attend events with the candidates, as he tries to gauge where they fall on issues he cares about: growing the economy, and protecting both the country and “the culture of America.” He mentally grades them on those issues.

“Eventually, I can’t speak for everyone else, but I’ll just guess, we’ll all find one or two candidates that we, so to speak, fall in love with,” Abramowitz said. “A very small minority of people will fall in love at this early stage.”

Diet company founder Jenny Craig of California has fattened the campaign accounts of Bush, Rubio and Cruz.

Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson and his wife, Miriam Adelson, donated to Graham as well as a fundraising committee benefiting Rubio’s U.S. Senate campaign, which Rubio converted into a presidential campaign.

Dallas investment banker-turned-alcohol distributor Sheldon Stein showered Bush, Cruz, Perry and former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania with thousands of dollars.

And former World Wrestling Entertainment executive and also-ran U.S. Senate candidate Linda McMahon of Connecticut split donations between Bush and Fiorina. “She has not formally endorsed any one candidate at this time,” said Kate Duffy, a McMahon spokeswoman.

Mica Mosbacher, a Texas fundraiser for Cruz, said in an e-mail that she knows contributors who have donated to multiple candidates and also has talked to some “fence sitters,” though she said Cruz often wins over donors when he talks to them in person.

“Others have said to me that they committed to someone else but Ted is their number two choice so his message is resonating,” she wrote. “And it’s still early.”

More than 50 donors crossed party lines when contributing to multiple presidential candidates.

One, billionaire grocery mogul and would-be New York Daily News owner John Catsimatidis — a self-described moderate — donated to Clinton on the left and Bush, Cruz and Graham on the right.

Nily Falic, a pro-Israel businesswoman from Florida whose family made its millions running duty-free stores, also straddled party lines, donating to Clinton, Rubio and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. The Falics also helped bankroll the recent re-election of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Kevin O’Connor, who oversees governmental and political affairs for the International Association of Fire Fighters, said the union has so far contributed to Bush, Clinton, O’Malley and former Virginia U.S. Sen. Jim Webb, a Democrat. The union also plans to send a check to another Democrat in Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, he said.

“We’re just kind of, if you will, helping our friends out,” he said, citing the union’s positive relationships with all those candidates during their previous stints in office. “There are a number of people in the race that have earned our respect and, to some extent, our support financially, and that’s reflected in what we’re doing in these donations.”

The union will go through its endorsement process and make a decision on its formal endorsement sometime between August and October, he said.

Strictly on the Democratic side, Hollywood honcho David Geffen wrote checks to Clinton and Sanders.

Generating big money early

There are 480 days until Election Day 2016 rolls around, but it doesn’t feel that way on the presidential fundraising circuit.

Before campaign fundraising books closed on June 30, the candidates sent out dozens of desperate fundraising emails with subject lines like “Friend, this is it” and “Last Chance!”

Their goal: to post the highest possible fundraising number for the quarter, the first time most of them were required to file a campaign disclosure report.

The reports, which were due by 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, show some clear winners and losers.

Clinton posted by far the biggest haul of hard money — $47.5 million. She also spent the largest amount, $18.7 million, though she still had the most cash on hand, with $28.9 million.

Celebrities dotted her disclosure, from Beyoncé Knowles-Carter (employer: self-employed; occupation: entrepreneur) to actors Ben Affleck and Leonardo DiCaprio, who all gave the maximum $2,700 allowed toward the primary.

Sanders, a self-described social Democrat, came in second in the cash race with about $15.2 million. Strikingly, more than three-quarters of Sanders’ contributions this quarter came from small-dollar donors who gave $200 or less, compared to about 17 percent of Clinton’s.

Bush came third, with $11.4 million, though the super PAC supporting him has reportedly raised more than $100 million to support his candidacy. Prominent donors to his campaign include hedge fund titan Daniel Loeb and oil and gas billionaire Trevor Rees-Jones. Bush also received at least 56 contributions totaling nearly $150,000 from people who listed investment banking giant Goldman Sachs as their employer.

He was followed by Cruz, with $10 million.

But the campaign committee hauls of Bush and Cruz — and those of several other Republican candidates — were dwarfed by fundraising totals for nominally independent political committees supporting them.

At least five Republican candidates — Fiorina, Bush, Rubio, Perry and Cruz — are backed by super PACs and nonprofits that have reportedly raised millions more than the campaigns themselves.

The outside groups are already picking up the tab for ads and organizing costs in early states. Super PACs aren’t required to reveal their finances until July 31, while nonprofit organizations that support candidates are generally allowed to keep their donors secret.

Candidates technically are not permitted to coordinate with outside groups such as super PACs, although many are pushing the boundaries.

For instance, before officially announcing his candidacy last month, Bush fundraised for Right to Rise, the super PAC supporting him, and it will engage in core functions such as campaign advertising.

Clinton is working directly with Correct the Record, a super PAC that provides it with opposition research but does not advertise. A super PAC supporting Fiorina has publicized her endorsements and answered questions from the press.

“There will be a lot more money spent by super PACs than by the campaigns” this time, said Charlie Black, a longtime Republican lobbyist and fundraiser who is currently neutral in the primary.

“Hard money” raised directly by campaigns does have its advantages despite federal laws limiting how much of it candidates may raise.

The candidates pay lower rates for television ad time, for instance, and have more control over how money is spent.

“If I were running a campaign, I would hate that I can’t control my own campaign, my own message,” Black said.

From April 1 to June 30, presidential candidates collectively reported raising more than $120 million through their campaigns, even though several of them didn’t formally announce until a few weeks ago.

Still, that’s only a fraction of the hundreds of millions of dollars the super PACs and nonprofits supporting them have so far voluntarily disclosed raising — and some of those groups have not yet said how much money they’ve taken in.

Donors writing multimillion-dollar checks to those outside groups, though, may be dancing with more than one date.

Hedge fund billionaire Robert Mercer is one example.

He’s reportedly a main donor to a connected group of super PACs supporting Cruz. The groups have said they have raised more than $37 million, though it isn’t yet known how much is from Mercer.

That’s a pretty substantial investment in Cruz. Campaign finance filings yesterday, though, show he and his family also contributed to Fiorina.

TIME Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton Far Outpaces Democratic Rivals in Spending

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has spent more than $18 million since her campaign launch.
Alex Wong—2015 Getty Images Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has spent more than $18 million since her campaign launch.

Hillary Clinton’s campaign spent $18.7 million since its launch on expenses ranging from payroll to voter files and office furniture, as the Democratic frontrunner sought to build a huge national operation that includes staff in all 50 states.

Her campaign has spent more money than both her Democratic rivals have raised.

“Thanks to the more than 250,000 Americans who have stepped up to support Hillary Clinton’s campaign, we have had the ability to make critical investments in our organization that will put us in position to win the primary and the White House,” said campaign manager Robby Mook.

Some of the campaign’s more significant expenditures included $370,000 for the New Hampshire, Iowa, Nevada and South Carolina Democratic party voter files, nearly $2 million outsourcing its direct marketing to a Washington, D.C.-based firm, and millions of dollars in payroll for the campaign staff of nearly 350.

The campaign also spent around $440,000 on legal fees, according to filings, including $163,000 to the law firm of the campaign’s lawyer, Marc Elias.

The campaign can afford to spend, having raised $46.7 million since mid-April, according to filings with the Federal Election Commission. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, another contender for the Democratic presidential nomination, raised about $15 million in the first quarter. Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley brought in around $2 million.

The spending represents some 40% of the money Clinton has raised since her official launch.

The campaign has taken a famously cheap approach, with staff forced to take buses, fly commercial and buy minimal office furniture and supplies. Some of that was reflected in the expenditures: in the month of June, for example, payroll expenditures to campaign manager Robby Mook totaled just $4,910, according to the filings, though Mook holds one of the most senior positions on the campaign.

The average donation to the Clinton campaign was $145, and the campaign said that 61% of its donors were women.

Celebrity donors to the campaign included Steven Spielberg, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, Disney Chairman Alan Horn, and Dreamworks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg. Notably, neither Chelsea Clinton nor Bill Clinton donated to the campaign, while the Bush family has already maxed out its contributions to Jeb’s campaign.

Nearly 33,000 people have purchased items from Clinton’s online store, which includes tongue-in-cheek items like a “Chillary” koozie and a “pantsuit tee.”

With reporting by Zeke J. Miller.

TIME mike huckabee

Huckabee’s Early Fundraising Almost Beats His Entire 2008 Amount

Former Arkansas governor and FOX new personality Mike Huckabee speaks during the 2011 Republican Leadership Conference on June 16, 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Justin Sullivan—Getty Images Former Arkansas governor and FOX new personality Mike Huckabee speaks during the 2011 Republican Leadership Conference on June 16, 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

His super PAC raises three times what Huckabee's campaign does

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee’s campaign and its outside allies have raised $8 million so far.

While he most of his rivals, Huckabee has shown during previous elections he is the master of a shoestring budget. His entire 2008 White House bid raised $9 million total. (That campaign predated the invention of the super PAC, which can raise and spend unlimited cash to help a candidate.)

“We’re on perfect pace to do what we talked about early on,” a senior Huckabee adviser said. “Campaigns take money, and the Governor is far ahead of where he was in 2008.”

Of the $8 million, $6 million of it was raised by outside groups who back Huckabee. The other $2 million went directly to the campaign. Huckabee aides said he was only taking money for the primary election, capping donations at $2,700 per person.

The haul, however, is overshadowed by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (his political machine raised $114.4 million through his campaign and allied groups) and Sen. Tex Cruz of Texas ($51 million total), Even so, Huckabee’s sum gives him enough resources to continue laying the groundwork in early nominating states such as Iowa and South Carolina.

Huckabee will file his forms to the Federal Election Commission soon.

 

TIME Lincoln Chafee

Lincoln Chaffee Picks Up His Campaign’s Gas and Hotel Bills

Former Rhode Island Governor Chafee poses for a selfie with a student after announcing he will seek the Democratic nomination to be U.S. president during an address to the GMU School of Policy, Government, and International Affairs in Arlington
Jonathan Ernst—Reuters Lincoln Chafee, Former Rhode Island Governor, poses for a selfie with a student after announcing he will seek the Democratic nomination for president in Arlington, Va. on June 3, 2015.

Turning heads not for how much he's raised, but for how little.

Former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee has been buying his own campaign gas, using his own credit card to pay for his Facebook account and picking up the bill on a hotel stay.

The reason is necessity: In an age of mega-donors and billion dollar general election campaigns, his campaign is turning heads not for how much he’s raised, but for how little.

The long-shot Republican-turned-Democrat’s campaign against Hillary Clinton raised just $28,387 from donors in its first month, with the candidate chipping in more than 13 times that — all while footing many of his own travel bills, according to a filing with the Federal Election Commission.

It’s the latest development in Chafee’s quixotic presidential bid. He was a Republican Senator until 2007, an independent who suffered from unpopularity during his single term as governor. During his announcement speech he endorsed moving the U.S. to the metric system in order to show the world that the country wants to strike a new posture on the international stage.

Chafee loaned his proto-campaign almost $164,000 in January, and another $200,000 on June 19, just two weeks after announcing he was challenging the former Secretary of State. He has also kicked in $662.03 for in-kind expenses.

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at http://update.microsoft.com