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K Street Cash Helps Boost Clinton’s White House Bid

Lobbyist-bundlers steered $1.5 million to campaign during first quarter

Hillary Clinton remains a favorite among K Street insiders. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)
Hillary Clinton remains a favorite among K Street insiders. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

In an election season dominated by anti-establishment fervor, influential Washington lobbyists helped Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign haul in more than $1.5 million of her nearly $75 million in donations during the first quarter of the year, according to new Federal Election Commission reports.  

The K Street set also directed an additional $270,000 to the Hillary Victory Fund, Clinton’s joint fundraising effort with the Democratic National Committee and more than 30 Democratic state parties, during the same reporting period.  The joint account reported raising $33 million in the first three months of the year.  

Sen. Marco Rubio , the Florida Republican who suspended his presidential bid in March, reported just shy of $400,000 bundled by registered lobbyists, such as Dirk Van Dongen, who runs the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors, and Facebook lobbyist Myriah Jordan.  

The presidential campaigns of Sen. Bernie Sanders , I-Vt., Sen. Ted Cruz , R-Texas, and real estate mogul Donald Trump have not reported lobbyist bundlers. Though anyone may help campaigns solicit donations, federal elections law requires public disclosure only of those who are registered lobbyists.  

Clinton’s top lobbyist fundraisers included Linda Lipsen, CEO of the trial lawyer group American Association for Justice, who raised nearly $30,000 for the presidential campaign and another $143,000 for the Hillary Victory Fund.  

Clinton’s presidential campaign also reported more than $275,000 from David Jones of the lobbying firm Capitol Counsel and another $103,000 from his colleague Richard Lyles Sullivan. Their recent clients include Wal-Mart and drug giant Genentech, according to lobbying disclosures.  

Ankit Nitin Desai, a lobbyist for Cheniere Energy, helped steer more than $73,000, and Clinton’s campaign reported former Sen. Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., a senior policy adviser with Van Ness Feldman, brought in almost $40,000. Her registered lobbying clients include Xavier University of Louisiana and the FutureGen Industrial Alliance.  

The Podesta Group’s founder and chairman Tony Podesta collected $35,000 for the Clinton presidential campaign, while another $23,000 came from lobbyist Steve Elmendorf, a founder of the firm Subject Matter. Podesta’s clients include BP, Wells Fargo, T-Mobile and ​Puerto Rico’s Department of the Treasury. Elmendorf is registered to represent Citigroup, the Managed Funds Association, the Human Rights Campaign and the National Football League.  

Lobbyists’ affection for Clinton isn’t a new phenomenon. She’s been the front-runner on K Street this election season. Republican Jeb Bush was second, until he dropped out, followed by Rubio.  

In addition to presidential contenders, the National Republican Senatorial Committee reported bundled donations from the Automotive Free International Trade PAC.  

Rep. Greg Walden , the Oregon Republican who chairs the House Energy & Commerce Communications and Technology Subcommittee, disclosed $22,000 bundled by the National Association of Broadcasters’ PAC.  

And Pennsylvania Democratic Senate contender Katie McGinty reported almost $50,000 in bundled contributions from the League of Conservation Voters Action Fund.  

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Photos of the week ending April 19, 2024