Politics

Hillary Super PAC fundraiser linked to Soros, Media Matters

Photo of Patrick Howley
Patrick Howley
Political Reporter

A founding member of the Ready for Hillary PAC’s Finance Council is a member of George Soros’ progressive donor network, The Democracy Alliance, and has links to controversial progressive organizations Media Matters for America and the Tides Foundation.

San Francisco environmentalist Susie Tompkins Buell is one of the key founding members of the Finance Council for Ready for Hillary, a super PAC that hopes to build a strong coalition of donors and online supporters in preparation for Hillary Clinton’s expected 2016 presidential campaign. Buell is one of the only known members of the Finance Council at this point, along with Houston lawyer Steve Mostyn and his wife, Amber, who were among the top contributors to President Obama’s 2012 super PAC Priorities USA.

Buell, a co-founder of the Esprit clothing line, is a member of the Democracy Alliance, a secretive “donor club” co-founded by progressive billionaire George Soros that helped steer millions in funding to the left-wing organizations Media Matters and the Center for American Progress, and was integral in securing Obama’s re-election victory. Buell’s Susie Tompkins Buell Foundation also donated money to Media Matters, which has close ties to the Obama White House, through the Tides Foundation, an intermediary for progressive nonprofits.

Ready for Hillary made headlines this week when it launched an online store featuring T-shirts with an illustration of Clinton’s face and the slogan “Ready.” The McLean, Virginia-based PAC, which is opening a physical office this summer, is expected to merge with at least one other pro-Hillary PAC.

Ready for Hillary, founded by Adam Parkhamenko and Allida Black, already has support and counsel from former Bill Clinton strategists Harold Ickes and James Carville and former Bill Clinton White House political director Craig Smith.

The PAC hopes to use similar online networking and social media tactics to the ones employed by Obama’s re-election campaign, which emulated tactics used by the French Socialist Party to build an advanced voter database that targeted prospective voters based on demographic and behavioral trends.

The Hillary FTW (“For the Win”) Super PAC, which was founded in Los Angeles by entertainment lawyer Michael Pacheco, is already involved in talks to merge with Ready For Hillary, FTW adviser Michael Trujillo told The Daily Caller.

Trujillo said that current pro-Hillary efforts are “unprecedented” in presidential politics because they are coordinating an online network of supporters for a candidate who has yet to declare her candidacy.

“This isn’t the kind of super PAC that you saw last year during the election, where you just go and get Sheldon Adelson and other rich people to give ten million dollars and you run TV ads. I’m not saying necessarily that that won’t happen at some point, but right now this is about reaching out to people and getting them involved so that if she does choose to get in the race, at the exact moment she announces people will be able to log on to the website and see millions of people already ready to go. It’s not about raising millions of dollars — it’s about getting millions of users,” Trujillo said.

The Susie Tompkins Buell Foundation and a spokesman for Ready for Hillary did not return requests for comment.

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