Lacking only an actual candidate, the super PAC formed to encourage and support a potential Hillary Clinton presidential candidacy is set to announce that it raised more than $1.25 million in its first full quarter of active solicitations, with more than 9,300 donors chipping in to the effort and more than $1 million raised just last month, according to an internal memo circulated by the Ready for Hillary PAC.
The memo, obtained by ABC News, boasts that contributions came in from every state and several U.S. territories, and that three-fourths of the contributions have been for less than $25. The group says it has more than 600,000 supporters identified, though the vast majority of them have not yet given money to the effort.
While there are no legal limits on the amount of contributions the PAC can receive, the group chose to cap donations at $25,000, both to send a message that names are more important than dollars at this stage, and to avoid making big donors feel tapped out this far in advance of a campaign that might never occur.
Ready for Hillary was launched by a handful of former campaign volunteers and low-level former Clinton staff members. But it has since been adopted by those close to Clinton herself as a useful vehicle to build a campaign-in-waiting; boldfaced Democratic names now involved include former Clinton White House Deputy Chief of Staff Harold Ickes, Democratic Party operative James Carville, Sen. Claire McCaskill D-Mo., and former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm.
Those names appear to have helped get the attention of the party's grassroots, in addition to the Democratic donor base. According to The New York Times, which got an advance peek at the Federal Election Commission filings the PAC is finalizing this week, the list of donors includes more than a dozen of President Obama's 2012 "bundlers," or biggest fundraisers, plus deep-pocketed Democratic financiers who together financed more than $100 million in 2012 super PAC spending.
That the super PAC was able to attract such prominent names and raise more than a $1 million without the formal involvement of Clinton, or any indication that she will run, will be a signal to other potential 2016 Democrats about the formidable operation that awaits a possible Clinton announcement. The new fundraising details are being released the same day that Clinton has breakfast with another potential 2016 candidate, Vice President Joe Biden.
Here's the full internal memo, authored by the group's executive director, Adam Parkhomenko:
TO: Ready for Hillary Staff and Consultants FROM: Adam Parkhomenko RE: FEC filing and grassroots fundraising DATE: July 29, 2013 Team,
As we discussed on Sunday's finance council calls, we are extremely proud of our number of grassroots donors and the makeup of those contributions.
I just ran the numbers and as of tonight we have a full 9,309 grassroots contributors, totaling more than 11,000 contributions. We set an original goal of 5,000 contributors, asking our supporters to help us reach that goal by June 30. Thanks to our supporters we exceeded 7,000 contributors by June 30 and new contributions have come in each day since (an additional 2,000+ in July). Here's a reminder of our contributions to date:
These contributions came from:
Contributions ranged from $1 to our self-imposed $25,000 limit. (BTW: We have received a lot of praise on social media from supporters who are proud to be part of the first super PAC that is built by them. Reaction to the Huffington Post piece about our decision to turn down seven-figure checks was incredible to say the least. And note what Rick Klein wrote on Friday: "The PAC's organizers say they're more interested in gathering names than building up a bankroll." A great quote - because it's a fact.
Three dates of note: We launched our website on April 2, sent our first grassroots fundraising solicitation (signed by former Gov. Granholm) on May 16, and sent the solicitation from Sen. McCaskill on June 18. Imagine what we can do in the next six months…
And in addition to those remarkable numbers we have now identified over 600,000 supporters throughout the country who are encouraging Hillary to run. Amazing. On a personal note, I want to thank all of you for your work thus far. This has been an amazing grassroots effort and the best is yet to come. From the beginning, you believed in an effort of this magnitude - an effort that has never been done like this before. Look for some good stories this week.