One catch: Support Clinton receives from Priorities USA Action is hardly unsolicited. Clinton has previously courted megadonors to the super PAC, and husband Bill Clinton was a “special guest” for a Priorities USA Action donor event on Dec. 1.
Priorities USA Action may raise and spend unlimited amounts of money, thanks to the Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision in 2010.
Who’s behind it?
Leading Priorities USA Action’s efforts is Guy Cecil, the political director of Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign. Although he’s a Clinton alumnus, Cecil, by law, may not coordinate Priorities USA Action’s efforts directly with Clinton’s presidential campaign.
Its board members include Jim Messina, a former Obama campaign manager; Emily’s List President Stephanie Schirock, and David Brock, mastermind behind several Clinton-friendly groups, including Priorities USA Action’s sister super PAC Correct the Record.
In December, Priorities USA Action gave $1 million to Correct the Record, which using a loophole in federal law, is coordinating its messaging efforts with the Clinton campaign.
More than $67 million.
That’s how much Priorities USA Action has raised so far this election cycle, making it one of the most cash-rich presidential super PACs of 2016.
It’s certainly more than what super PACs have raised for Clinton’s Democratic primary opponent, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, as well as Trump. Both Sanders and Trump have generally disavowed any super PACs supporting them.
Like Sanders and Trump, Clinton has lambasted big money’s role in politics. But Clinton’s reformist rhetoric hasn’t stopped a network of pro-Clinton super PACs and nonprofits from accepting so-called “dark money” — cash that’s difficult or impossible to trace to a root source.
For example, Priorities USA Action in June received $1 million from Fair Share Action, a super PAC which received contributions from only two entities: Fair Share Inc. and Environment America. As tax-exempt, “social welfare” nonprofit organizations, Fair Share Inc. and Environment America are not required to disclose their donors.
Neither organization voluntarily discloses their donors, either, despite Fair Share Inc. actively campaigning to push big money out of politics.
Priorities USA Action also received a six-figure contribution from Suffolk Construction Company Inc., a Boston-based construction firm that has been awarded by the federal government more than $168 million worth of contracts, according to a Center for Public Integrity investigation.
A mystery organization by the name of Raemar Crest LLC donated $10,000 to Priorities USA Action in February. Virtually nothing is known about the people behind Raemar Crest LLC, as the entity is registered in Delaware, a state that requires organizations to very little information about their operations, investors and leaders.