Having launched a group designed to back Democratic politicians who would lead the resistance to President Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton’s support for those candidates has largely dried up. Over the first 18 months of the 2020 election cycle, her political outfit paid more in donation processing fees than it doled out in political contributions, campaign finance records show.
The Onward Together Committee, which Clinton founded in the months after her 2016 election defeat, donated just $21,700 to six political candidates and political committees in 2019 and the first half of 2020, according to a Federal Election Commission filing this week. By that point in the 2018 election cycle, the Onward Together Committee had made $130,000 in political contributions, even as it brought in about $30,000 less during the equivalent period.
The group’s numbers could swell as election day approaches. On Thursday, Clinton hosted a digital fundraiser with former South Bend mayor and Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, with proceeds benefiting their respective PACs. But so far this cycle, Clinton’s PAC is lagging far behind its financial support for Democratic candidates during the 2018 midterms.
That meager support during a crucial election cycle illustrates the degree to which Clinton has receded as a political force since her upset loss to Trump. While she vowed to stay politically active through the Onward Together Committee and an affiliated “dark money” nonprofit group, both organizations have dramatically scaled back their giving.
A Clinton spokesperson did not respond to requests for comment on the Onward Together Committee’s giving and its plans for the remainder of the cycle.
A number of the Onward Together Committee’s beneficiaries this year aren’t even federal political candidates. The group has donated to South Carolina Senate hopeful Jaime Harrison and California state representative Christy Smith, who’s running for a U.S. House seat in the state. But its other recipients are all at the state and local levels—a Democratic gubernatorial candidate in Montana, a mayoral candidate in Dallas, and a county commissioner candidate in Miami-Dade, Florida.
The Onward Together Committee has also donated to Vote Mama, a PAC run by Liuba Grechen Shirley, a former Democratic congressional candidate in New York.
The committee raised about $167,000 from January 2019 through the end of June, according to its FEC filing this week. That was actually more than the more than $137,000 it raised during the first 18 months of the 2018 election cycle.
Its donations, though, have dropped off considerably from that cycle, when it donated more than $287,000 to sixty one political candidates and committees, most of them at the federal level. The $21,700 the Onward Together Committee donated to candidates and PACs this cycle is actually less than the $26,500 it’s paid to its online donation payment processor, FEC filings show.
Donations made by Onward Together, the dark money affiliate, to federal political committees have also fallen off considerably. From 2017 through June 2018, the group gave $250,000 to two such committees, the PAC associated with progressive civil rights group Color of Change and Swing Left, a volunteer-focused Democratic super PAC. By election day, it had donated another $275,000 to those groups and other others, Tech for Campaigns and the Latino Victory fund.
So far this cycle, in contrast, it’s donated just $160,000 to federal political groups, according to FEC records, with contributions benefitting some of the same committees, including Color of Change and Swing Left. As a nonprofit, Onward Together will not be required to disclose more recent finances until after election day, meaning some donations to groups that aren’t registered as political committees may go uncounted until then.