Sanders Campaign Accuses Clinton Fundraising Committee Of ‘Serious Apparent Violations’


Alex Pfeiffer White House Correspondent
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The Bernie Sanders campaign has sent a letter to the Democratic National Committee Monday complaining that a joint fundraising committee between the Clinton campaign and the DNC is being used solely for Hillary’s benefit.

The letter, which is addressed to DNC chairwoman Rep. [crscore]Debbie Wasserman Schultz[/crscore], says, “the Hillary Victory Fund has reported receiving several individual contributions in amounts as high as $353,400 or more, which is over 130 times the $2,700 limit that applies for contributions to Secretary Clinton’s campaign.”

“Bernie 2016 is particularly concerned that these extremely large-dollar individual contributions have been used by the Hillary Victory Fund to pay for more than $7.8 million in direct mail efforts and over $8.6 million in online advertising, both of which appear to only benefit [Hillary for America] by generating low-dollar contributions that flow only to HFA, rather than to the DNC or any of participating state party committees,” Sanders’ counsel Brad C. Deutsch wrote.

The Hillary Victory Fund is a joint fundraising committee between the DNC, 33 state Democratic parties, and Hillary for America (HFA). The money it receives is supposed to be split between the organizations. Bernie’s joint fundraising committee, Bernie Victory Fund, has only one donation – $1,000 from the DNC.

The letter to the DNC continues onto say: “It is of grave concern that the Clinton joint fundraising committee appears to be using funds raised by “big-dollar” donors to fund activities that yield contributions and support that only provide benefit only to HFA. Moreover, the joint fundraising committee may effectively be subsidizing HFA’s “donor- acquisition” efforts, because HFA is now able to re-solicit these small-dollar donor over-and-over again.”

“Bernie 2016 is concerned that, at best, the joint fundraising committee’s spending on direct mail and online advertising appears to represent an impermissible in-kind contribution from the DNC and the participating state party committees to HFA,” Deutsch said. He added, “at worst, using funds received from large-dollar donors who have already contributed the $2,700 maximum to HFA may represent an excessive contribution to HFA from these individuals.”

The Sanders campaign also has complaints about the fact the Hillary campaign is reimbursed $2.6 million for salaries and overhead. The letter says: “this fact raises equally serious concerns that joint committee funds, which are meant to be allocated proportionally among the participating committees, are being used to impermissibly subsidize HFA through an over-reimbursement for campaign staffers and resources.”

Sanders’ counsel refers to the offenses described in the letter as “serious apparent violations.”

In a statement responding to the letter Clinton campaign manger Robby Mook said, “as Senator Sanders faces nearly insurmountable odds, he is resorting to baseless accusations of illegal actions and poisoning the well for Democratic candidates up and down the ticket.” 

He added, “furthermore, we call on Senator Sanders to end his frivolous and cynical lawsuit against the DNC, which continues to drain resources needed to help Democrats up and down the ticket win in November and protect the progress we’ve made under President Obama.”