Lobbyist-driven fundraising for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton picked up significantly over the past three months, showing that as Clinton’s campaign gained momentum, so, too, did her backing from K Street supporters.
Between July and September, lobbyists bundled nearly $11 million for the Clinton campaign and the Hillary Victory Fund, the campaign’s joint fundraising committee with the Democratic National Committee, according to new Federal Election Commission filings. That marks a sharp uptick from the roughly $2.7 million that lobbyists bundled during the second quarter and the $1.8 million they bundled during the first quarter of 2016.
By comparison, neither Trump’s campaign nor the Trump Victory fund, a joint fundraising committee with the Republican National Committee, reported any lobbyist bundlers. It’s possible that registered lobbyists have bundled some money for Trump, but not enough to trigger the $17,600 disclosure threshold. Trump, however, has received smaller donations from lobbyists.
The summer months were a critical time for Clinton — she clinched the nomination in June and received Bernie Sanders’s endorsement in July — and the increase in fundraising from lobbyists reflects that momentum. “Never Trump” Republican donors started cutting checks, too, some bundlers said.
“It definitely got easier [to raise money] as the choices crystallized for people,” said Al Mottur, a Democratic lobbyist at Brownstein Hyatt who raised more than half a million dollars for Clinton during the third quarter. “It made it easier for me to explain to donors why, based on my having known her for many years, she was a great choice for president.”
In addition, more lobbyists signed on to bundle for Clinton during the most recent period, including some familiar names in the Clinton orbit, such as Jack Quinn, a former White House counsel-turned lobbyist. About 60 lobbyists bundled for Clinton during the most recent quarter, up from about 40 the previous quarter.
The top lobbyist bundlers during the most recent quarter were:
- Richard Sullivan of the lobby firm Capitol Counsel, who raised $1.64 million
- Ankit Desai, vice president of government affairs at Cheniere Energy, who raised $1.58 million
- Liz Robbins, who raised $742,000
- Linda Lipsen, head of the trial lawyers group American Association for Justice, who raised $576,000
- Al Mottur of the lobby firm Brownstein Hyatt, who raised $534,000
People who raise more than $17,600 from friends, family and colleagues are known as bundlers. Campaigns are required to disclose the names of bundlers if they are registered lobbyists, but are not required to disclose the names of all bundlers.