Biden PAC Spends Most of Its Money on Biden, Not 2018 Dems | NTK Network Biden PAC Spends Most of Its Money on Biden, Not 2018 Dems

Biden PAC Spends Most of Its Money on Biden, Not 2018 Dems

While most likely 2020 candidates raised money for Democrats running in 2018, the former vice president’s PAC spent most of its haul on Biden himself.

By NTK Staff | 01.08.2019 @10:15am
Biden PAC Spends Most of Its Money on Biden, Not 2018 Dems

Among potential 2020 Democrats, former Vice President Joe Biden raised the most money for his affiliated super PAC. Ostensibly, these PACs were designed to allow these politicians to raise money and disperse it among candidates on the ballot in 2018.

But while other candidates gave most of their money away to House and Senate Democrats, Biden’s PAC spent the majority of its money on Biden himself:

Biden’s PAC gave Democratic candidates just a quarter of the more than $2 million he raised and spent during the midterms. At the same time, he spent half a million dollars on websites and digital ads that could help him bolster his online presence and raise money from small donors for a 2020 primary campaign, and more of his PAC funds went to travel and other expenses.

Other potential 2020 Democrats gave “six and seven figure sums to candidates or state parties” to establish goodwill among the party’s grassroots. But Biden, a known commodity in those circles already, made the calculation that the money he raised in 2018 was better used building up his own political operation.

Politico broke down how other 2020 Democrats used their super PAC funds:

Warren gave out the most — about 85 percent of the total amount she spent — to other Democrats, followed by Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey. They were followed by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti (56 percent), Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont (46 percent), California Sen. Kamala Harris (37 percent) and New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (36 percent).

Aides to many of the politicians said their PAC activity covers only a slice of their total midterms efforts, which in most cases also included direct contributions from their campaign committees to candidates, as well as fundraisers and emails on behalf of others. Most of the politicians provided internal numbers that could not be independently verified.

But Biden wasn’t the only one who spent lavishly on his own travel and lodgings. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) spent roughly a third of what she raised for her leadership PAC on other politicians and committees. But she also took 26 trips to 17 states campaigning for those candidates.

On multiple occasions, Harris’ PAC spent big on fundraisers and hotels, too: She spent $21,000 in May 2017 for a fundraiser at The Lodge at Torrey Pines, a luxury hotel in La Jolla, Calif., overlooking the Pacific Ocean; and $7,700 paid to Martha’s Vineyard-based caterer Kitchen Porch following an event on the island Harris headlined last summer.

These Democrats will face increased scrutiny as they jump into the competitive race this year. And while money spent in 2018 might seem like ancient history in a 2020 campaign, grassroots activists won’t soon forget who helped their local candidates and who helped themselves.

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