Several super PACs worked to raise millions of dollars for Trump’s campaign. Currently, most of those PACs are seeing a surprising and dramatic trend in fundraising for the president. Out of the five largest big-money machines that supported Trump during the election, only two are still gaining contributions.
Even one of the most recent ones is starting to slow on pulling in donations. According to The Hill:
‘In eight months last year, the pro-Trump super PAC Rebuilding America Now pulled in $22.6 million, including from donors such as billionaire Bernard Marcus, real estate developer Geoffrey Palmer, and Trump’s now Small Business Administrator, Linda McMahon. The private prison company GEO Group also threw in $275,000.’
Despite the grand amount of money that was brought in during Trump’s campaign, the PAC Rebuilding America only brought in one $5,000 donation for the first half of the 2017 year. Michael Beckel, the manager of research, investigations and policy analysis at Issue One, said:
‘It’s not surprising to see some of them winding down and shutting down shop because their job is done, he’s been elected.’
PACs can also accept donations of unlimited amounts so Beckel says there isn’t really a need to fundraise year-round. He didn’t find it that out of the ordinary that the donations are slowing for some of these super PAC’s.
While on the campaign trail, Trump criticized super PAC’s saying he didn’t need them and that they were corrupt. During a debate last year, Trump said:
‘These super PACs are a disaster by the way, folks, very corrupt. It’s going to lead to a lot of disasters … There is total control of the candidates. I know it better than anybody that probably ever lived. I know the system far better than anybody else, and I know the system is broken. I’m the only one up here that’s going to be able to fix that system because that system is wrong.’
Even though the fundraising is declining for many super PACs, they are still bringing in cash and accomplishing some of the current things they are setting out to do. The Committee To Defend The President raised almost $3.3 million dollars in the first six months of year. The group ran ads for Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, and also created a video ad about the president’s first 100 days which mentioned the 2020 presidential race.
Ted Harvey, the PAC’s chairman, reported:
‘We have spent a lot of money over the last month putting on pressure on Republicans to support the president’s repeal of Obamacare. When we saw there were six senators questioning whether they were going to vote for a repeal, we spent a lot of money in their states telling [our grassroots network] to get involved and put pressure on them.’
One of the newest PACs, Great America PAC, raised $1.7 million from January through June. Great America is a hybrid PAC, which means they can also make limited contributions to political campaigns. They recently held a $5,000 per person reception in July featuring Vice President Pence, Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).
Great America Agenda has been the least active of the groups, and has not shown any action for three months. Lewandowski had been listed as the chairman of the group. When asked about getting involved as a super PAC, Watts of Lewandowski and Bennett, told The Hill:
“Quite honestly, they got busy, they got distracted. I got busy, I got distracted by other things. There certainly room and need to support Trump’s agenda items. From my perspective, those [agenda items] aren’t clear enough in general for the public.’
Featured image by Michael Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images.