…newly disclosed hacked campaign documents published by WikiLeaks and a hacker who calls himself Guccifer 2.0 reveal in stark terms how Hillary Clinton’s staffers made Super PACs an integral part of her presidential campaign.
- In a July 2015 memo addressed to Clinton herself, her campaign laid out plans for working with the Democratic National Committee and Correct the Record, a Super PAC. Correct the Record was created by David Brock, a longtime Clinton ally and the founder of Media Matters for America. One section of the memo instructed: “Work with CTR and DNC to publicize specific GOP candidate vulnerabilities.”
- In October 2015, several Clinton staffers strategized over ways to attack author Ed Klein for attributing an apparently fake quote to former President Bill Clinton in his book. “I’m sure Brock and team would love to go at him. Nick, want me to put you in touch with them?” Clinton campaign communications staffer Christina Reynolds, wrote, referring to Clinton press secretary Nick Merrill. “I can reach out to David,” volunteered Karen Finney, another Clinton staffer on the email chain.
- A month later, Reynolds emailed a list of agenda items for an upcoming campaign meeting. High on the list: determining how to frame Bernie Sanders, and whether attacks on Republicans “should go through HRC, surrogates, DNC, CTR,” another reference to Correct the Record.
- In December 2015, a fundraiser for multiple pro-Clinton Super PACs emailed John Podesta, the campaign’s chairman, with a suggested seating chart for an event with Super PAC donors. “John, Below is the seating chart for this evening and attached is a best of hits for both Correct the Record and American Bridge on the Presidential,” Mary Pat Bonner, the fundraiser, wrote. Campaign finance records show four donors on Bonner’s list have given $725,000 to American Bridge 21st Century, which conducts opposition research against Republicans. One donor on the list has contributed $125,000 to Correct the Record. Bonner included a document highlighting the work done by Correct the Record. The paper asserts the group may “coordinate directly and strategically with the Hillary campaign.”
- In another email that month, Bonner requested Podesta speak to an adviser to Jim Simons, a hedge fund manager who was considering donating to Correct the Record. “He told me he is intending to call you on Monday to discuss the importance of CTR and their donation,” Bonner wrote. “He is interested in the fact that CTR is a coordinated PAC that does not do any paid communication.” (Simons has not donated to CTR.)
- In February 2016, Dennis Cheng, the lead fundraiser for the Clinton campaign, emailed other staffers to recommend that Podesta call certain donors to Priorities USA Action, the largest pro-Clinton Super PAC, to thank them for their six- and seven-figure donations. Cheng flagged three donor names, telling a colleague they were “very important Priorities USA calls that ideally John can make.”
- In a separate email, Guy Cecil, an official from Priorities USA, apologizes to Podesta for sending him to the wrong address for a meeting. Podesta noted it had been raining and quipped, “Priorities owes me a pair of shoes.”
The emails show consistent, repeated efforts by the Clinton campaign to collaborate with Super PACs on strategy, research, attacks on political adversaries and fundraising. The cache also reveal meetings between the campaign and Priorities USA Action, and that campaign officials have helped with the group’s fundraising.
Via The Intercept