Real estate mogul and Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump's campaign announced Friday that letters of notice were sent to unauthorized super PACs that claimed to support him. Trump, who frequently boasts that he is funding his own campaign and doesn't accept big dollar donations from the country's biggest donors, noted in a press release that the only donations the campaign accepts are unsolicited online donations.
“I am self-funding my campaign and therefore I will not be controlled by the donors, special interests and lobbyists who have corrupted our politics and politicians for far too long,” Trump said in the statement. “I have disavowed all Super PAC's, requested the return of all donations made to said PAC's, and I am calling on all presidential candidates to do the same.”
The letters were sent Wednesday, and urged the political action committees to stop fundraising because of the confusion those super PACs might cause with voters. The statement further indicates that Trump will campaign without being influenced by “dark money” in the campaign.
Full Trump camp statement: pic.twitter.com/9IA2KSwwY2
— Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) October 23, 2015
Super PACs are able to raise unlimited amounts of money to be spent for political means, however their donors must be disclosed to the Federal Election Commission. They are theoretically separate entities from the candidates and their actual campaigns, and it is illegal for the two entities to coordinate in strategy.
Trump has raised $5.8 million so far in the campaign, according to data provided by the Center for Responsive Politics. His biggest donor is himself, and he has self-financed $1.9 million of that total. He’s received $3.9 million from individuals, including $2.8 million from donors who gave $200 or less, and $1.1 million from donors who gave between $200 and the federal limit, $5,700.
Trump and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders are notable in the campaign for their decision not to use a super PAC in their campaigns. Both have called for the reform of federal campaign finance laws on the campaign, and have been critical of their competitors, saying that big money interests are influencing their opinions. Sanders has been a bit more successful in his fundraising, and has raised a total of $41.5 million since he began his run for president.