Politico

Biden discloses top campaign rainmakers


Joe Biden’s campaign released a list of his biggest fundraisers Saturday night, the first update to the list since he won the Democratic presidential nomination.

Biden, who raised a record-shattering $383 million for his campaign and allied committees last month, named 817 “bundlers” — high-dollar donors who have tapped into their personal networks to raise at least $100,000 for the candidate, typically after giving their own maximum contribution to the Biden campaign.

The list takes in a broad slice of top Democratic officials and donors, from Wall Street executives to Silicon Valley tycoons. It includes familiar names like Hollywood film producer Jeffrey Katzenberg, former Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker and Denise Bauer, former U.S. Ambassador to Belgium. A handful of celebrities appeared on the list, including director Lee Daniels, former “The View” host Star Jones and TV showrunner Ryan Murphy, as did several Wall Street executives, including Blackstone executive Tony James and veture capitalist Alan Patricof.

Several big names from Silicon Valley, including LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman and venture capitalist Ron Conway, were on the list. But a few major Democratic donors from the tech scene were absent, like Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz and former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, who have poured millions of dollars into their own super PAC, called Future Forward.

Biden’s list is smaller than Hillary Clinton’s, who listed 1,129 bundlers in 2016. In 2012, former President Barack Obama’s campaign had 769 bundlers.

But Biden has outraised both of them, thanks not only to help from wealthy donors but to a record-breaking influx of online donors giving a handful of dollars at a time. That combination swept Biden past President Donald Trump, who has not disclosed his top donors and who started the campaign with a nine-figure fundraising lead over Biden. By the end of last month, Trump trailed Biden 3-to-1 in cash on hand.

Of the major Democratic candidates for president in 2020, Biden was the most reliant on big fundraising events and high-dollar bundlers to power his primary campaign, and he struggled mightily to keep up with the rest of the field’s fundraising. In December 2019, he voluntarily disclosed a list of 200 bundlers, timed with a broader discussion of campaign finance transparency driven by Pete Buttigieg and Elizabeth Warren during the clash for the Democratic nomination.

Several of his former presidential primary opponents also bundled for his campaign, often headlining events for him on Zoom, including Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg and philanthropist Tom Steyer. Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who’s separately spending millions of dollars on behalf of Biden through his super PAC, is not on the list.

More than 30 current and former members of the U.S. House also bundled for Biden, including Reps. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), the co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus; Val Demings (D-Fla.), who was on Biden’s list of possible vice presidential picks before the job went to Kamala Harris; and Deb Haaland (D-N.M.). Another 20 U.S. senators were also on the list of Biden bundlers.

Continue

About the author

Lisa

Leave a Comment