[Washington, 22nd Reuters]–Ahead of the US midterm elections on November 8, “Save America,” the PAC (Political Activities Committee) of former President Donald Trump, is one of the leading political funding groups in the Republican Party. It is showing a rapid rise to one.
But when Reuters analyzed a political funding report submitted to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), so far, “Save America” spending on Republican efforts to win the midterm elections has been , It remains very small compared to other organizations.
While Mr. Trump has provided a small amount of support to Republican prospective runners, this is the first time he has reported on the differences in spending that Reuters’ analysis reveals.
Mr. Trump launched “Save America” in November 2020. Since then, the organization has raised $ 124 million in donations. It is the largest political funding organization launched by the former president. However, spending is about 14 million dollars (about 1.7 billion yen), which is only about 11% of the collected funds. Most of it is spent on fundraising rallies and advertising. Although ostensibly supporting Republican candidates aiming for the midterm elections, it is rather the appeal of Mr. Trump himself.
In contrast, Republican flagship funders supporting upcoming Senate runners have spent about 80% of the $ 135 million raised since 2021. The main funding group for prospective runners in the House of Commons has also spent more than half of the $ 162 million raised during the same period. Both are numbers that can be seen from the documents submitted to FEC.
The limited spending of “Save America” has been questioned by experts and political commentators familiar with election funding as evidence of securing funding for the presidential election. It is happening.
According to Taylor Glitch, director of public relations for both “Save America” and Trump himself, Trump has helped prospective runners through direct donations, rallies, and joint fundraising.
“‘Save America’ isn’t going to tell the press about specific strategies or spending,” Gleich said in a statement to Reuters. “All donations received will be used to promote his’US First’agenda through candidates and causes supported by President Trump.”
Mr. Trump has registered “Save America” as a “Leadership PAC.” Under the Election Law, the use of leadership PAC funds is limited to campaigns by anyone other than Mr. Trump himself. But election funding experts say there may be multiple loopholes in using “Save America” funding if Mr. Trump is heading for the White House again.
If Mr. Trump runs for the 2024 presidential election, he will need to set up another political funding organization for his campaign. Although he hasn’t announced his run yet, it’s not uncommon for his supporters’ rallies to hint at his willingness to regain his presidency.
The election cycle is still in its infancy, and Mr. Trump could increase spending to support Republicans seeking a majority in Congress for November.
However, according to Michael Beckel, director of research at Issue One, a nonpartisan organization that promotes campaign funding reform, leadership PACs have plenty of money for prospective runners as of March of the year of the midterm elections. It is said that it is usually provided.
“It’s unusual to have such a large amount of political contributions in a leadership PAC and not so much direct spending on elections,” Becker said.
Justin Safie of Florida-based lobbying firm Ballard Partners, which is affiliated with Trump, is wise to refrain from spending at this point so that Trump can be even more impacted when the elections are imminent. Say it’s the way.
“Once the party primaries are over, we’ll see the 30 most likely seats for the Republican Party,” he said. “Then, from August to the voting day, we will invest all our money in those constituencies.”
Mr. Trump spends the most money on supporters’ rallies. Many experts think that they are preparing for 2024 while interacting with his supporters and collecting data on the participants.
According to a political funding report submitted to the FEC before the March 20 submission deadline, “Save America” has spent more than $ 3 million on event-related costs by February.
Save America also spends more than $ 2 million on consulting services, nearly $ 300,000 on advertising, and about $ 200,000 on prospective Republican runners in the midterm elections. In addition, at least $ 170,000 is spent at Trump’s hotels for accommodation, food, and facility rentals related to “Save America.”
The Republican Party’s flagship funding group for the midterm elections has provided about $ 300,000 to prospective runners, but is spending huge amounts of money on other uses. Over $ 20 million in advertising costs, and over $ 25 million to access a list of voters used to narrow down voters to send text messages, electoral mail, and door-to-door visits.
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At Mr. Trump’s rally, he is calling on supporters to vote for Republican candidates in the midterm elections, but Mr. Trump himself is the protagonist of the rally.
Mr. Trump stopped his speech at a rally at an airport in South Carolina on March 12, when it was extremely cold. This is to give him the opportunity to speak to his supporter, Russell Fry, as a challenger to the incumbent Republican Rep. Tom Rice.
“Why don’t you just say a word or two? So let’s get rid of this place. It’s too cold,” Trump said.
After Mr. Frey spoke briefly, Mr. Trump continued his speech for about 20 minutes, portraying how his agenda would change the country after the next presidential election. “In 2024, we’ll get back that beautiful white house,” he said. “Who will be the Lord? Who is it?”
Last week, Democratic political funding groups filed charges with the FEC alleging that spending on “Save America” rallying costs was equivalent to a campaign for the presidential election and violated the election law.
However, according to Becker and other experts familiar with election funds, even if Mr. Trump announced that he would run for the presidential election and tried to divert the “Save America” funds to his campaign. It is unlikely that the FEC will take action to detect Mr. Trump.
The FEC is centered on the same number of members from the Republican and Democratic parties, and in recent years it has been stuck on the most controversial themes.
Mr. Glitch, a spokeswoman for Mr. Trump, said the Democratic accusations were “insignificant” and “factless.”
According to experts, including former FEC member Ann Label, one of Trump’s legal strategies to divert “Save America” funds to the presidential election is with the organization. It is said that it is to break the official relationship of. It is also possible to transfer “Save America” funds to affiliated organizations.