Ready for Hillary’s New Plan to Help Democrats in 2014

The group is creating a PAC that will let it contribute directly to candidates for the midterm elections.

Stacks of 'Ready For Hillary' bumper stickers are seen at the Super PAC offices working on behalf of undeclared US Presidential candidate and former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton July 11, 2013 in a shopping center office in Alexandria, Virginia. The 'Ready For Hillary' Super PAC has already mailed out 50,000 'Ready For Hillary' bumper stickers to potential financial donors. The Super PAC is sending out I-Phone buttons, lapel buttons, bumper stickers, t-shirts, hats, and other promotional items.
National Journal
Alex Seitz Wald and Adam Wollner
Add to Briefcase
Alex Seitz-Wald Adam Wollner
May 28, 2014, 12:19 p.m.

Ready for Hil­lary is any­thing but a tra­di­tion­al polit­ic­al group. But it’s now look­ing to in­flu­ence elec­tions the old-fash­ioned way — by writ­ing checks to can­did­ates.

The su­per PAC, which has been build­ing sup­port for a po­ten­tial Hil­lary Clin­ton 2016 pres­id­en­tial bid since early last year, es­tab­lished a new ac­count Wed­nes­day that will al­low it to make dir­ect con­tri­bu­tions to can­did­ates and oth­er polit­ic­al com­mit­tees, provid­ing the group with an­oth­er av­en­ue to aide Demo­crats in the 2014 midterms.

As a hy­brid PAC, Ready for Hil­lary will now main­tain two sep­ar­ate ac­counts: One that can raise un­lim­ited amounts of cash for in­de­pend­ent ex­pendit­ures, but may not dir­ectly donate to can­did­ates, and an­oth­er that can ac­cept capped dona­tions, but may send hard money to can­did­ates’ cam­paigns.

“Ready for Hil­lary and our more than 2 mil­lion sup­port­ers are not only ex­cited about en­cour­aging Hil­lary to run in 2016, but also ex­cited to be work­ing to elect Demo­crats in 2014,” spokes­man Seth Bring­man said. “This is an­oth­er tool that we now have avail­able to us to help in that ef­fort.”

The group hasn’t signaled which can­did­ates in par­tic­u­lar it will sup­port this year. But Ready for Hil­lary staff has met with 2014 cam­paign staffs in key states, in­clud­ing New Hamp­shire. While they can’t co­ordin­ate, the group’s rep­res­ent­at­ives can re­peat state­ments they’ve made in pub­lic about want­ing to help midterm can­did­ates in any way they can.

In ad­di­tion, Ready for Hil­lary plans to dir­ect donors to make dona­tions in $20.16 in­cre­ments to midterm can­did­ates, so the cam­paigns will know the money came at the be­hest of the pro-Clin­ton group.

Pre­vi­ously, the group has helped with get-out-the-vote ef­forts in a loc­al Ex­ec­ut­ive Coun­cil race in the Gran­ite State last March, as it did in the 2013 Vir­gin­ia gubernat­ori­al and New York City may­or­al races.

As Ready for Hil­lary pre­pares to take on a new role in the midterms, a hand­ful of big Demo­crat­ic names should help it bring in plenty of cash over the next few weeks. Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, Chica­go May­or Rahm Emanuel, Sen. Bar­bara Box­er of Cali­for­nia, and Sen. Richard Blu­menth­al of Con­necti­c­ut are all slated to head­line fun­draisers for the group in June. Ready for Hil­lary raised $1.7 mil­lion in the first three months of the year and ended March with more than $850,000 in the bank.

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