Democratic presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton hired hundreds of employees and spent more than $18 million in the first three months of her presidential campaign in an effort to outpace her rivals. Clinton had raised over $46 million for the Democratic primary contest, the Associated Press (AP) reported on Wednesday.
Clinton reportedly spent over $5.9 million on 343 employees, $700,000 on computers and other equipment, and half a million on renting offices, including her 80,000 square feet headquarters in Brooklyn. According to campaign finance documents filed on Wednesday, Clinton also purchased lists of voters in four early primary states, paid a political action committee six figures to defend her record, and spent massively on building a digital team, the AP reported.
The report also analyzed that the outlay for this year’s campaign is nearly four times what Clinton spent in the first three months of her last presidential campaign against then-Sen. Barack Obama in 2008. During that campaign, Clinton and her team faced accusations that they wasted a lot of money on strategies that did not work, including nearly $100,000 on party platters and groceries before the Iowa caucus. Clinton lost that contest.
At the first national finance meeting in May, Clinton’s team reportedly asked top donors to buy their own lunches and fund their own transportation to gatherings in Brooklyn. While campaign aides bragged about traveling from New York to Washington in a bus, and not the more expensive Acela train, Clinton’s team still spent at least $8,700 on train tickets and just a few hundred dollars on bus tickets, the AP reported, citing the Federal Election Commission report.
During the 2008 campaign, Clinton spent 14 percent of the raised $36 million in the first three months, but this time she has reportedly spent nearly 40 percent of the raised amount in the same period. Clinton also reportedly received over 250,000 contributions and only about 17 percent of the donations were less than $200 dollars. A list of campaign bundlers, each of whom helped raise over $100,000 for her primary bid, was also released by Clinton’s team.
Some of the donors included Hollywood media mogul Haim Saban; Susie Tompkins Buell, a wealthy California investor; Las Vegas publisher Brian Greenspun; billionaire J.B. Pritzker of Chicago; and New York-based financier Alan Patricof, the AP reported. Her team also managed to attract some of Obama’s biggest backers, including New York-based financiers Marc Lasry, Charles Myers and Blair Effron.