Top 1 Magazine

Top One Magazine

Nikki Haley’s fuzzy fundraising math

When Nikki Haley’s presidential campaign announced its first quarterly fundraising haul earlier this month, the figure sounded impressive.

The former U.N. ambassador’s campaign said it had raised $11 million between her mid-February launch and the end of the quarter on March 31. It got that figure by saying Haley’s campaign had $5.1 million in receipts, along with $4.4 million for Team Stand for America, a joint fundraising committee, and $1.2 million for Stand for America PAC, a Haley-launched leadership PAC.

But after Haley filed her first-quarter report to the Federal Election Commission late Saturday, an altogether different story has emerged. Her campaign’s math didn’t add up.

What Haley’s campaign and two affiliated groups actually raised was about $8.3 million. The discrepancy between the Haley campaign’s public statements and the numbers on the filings appear to be a case of double-counting.

Haley’s campaign alone raised $5.1 million. But $1.8 million of that total came in a transfer from Team Stand for America, and SFA Fund, Inc., a hybrid PAC that can send limited amounts of money directly to candidates but is prohibited from coordinating its independent expenditures with the campaign. But that’s not the only double counting that appears to have happened. Haley’s leadership PAC also received a $886,000 transfer from her joint fundraising committee — a total that the campaign seeks to count twice in the quarterly total across all three vehicles.

The web of campaign finance laws around various committees is complicated, especially after the Supreme Court’s Citizens United case last decade. And in a statement, Haley’s campaign insisted that it was simply sharing the three vehicles’ total receipts, without sharing that those figures included transfers between them.

“We reported $11 million, the sum of entities,” Ken Farnaso, Haley’s campaign press secretary, wrote in an email, adding that other presidential candidates also have multiple fundraising vehicles.

Had they counted those transfers only once, Haley’s $11 million becomes about $8.3 million. That’s still a strong sum for her first six weeks as a candidate, but it’s not quite what was touted in the media over the past two weeks.

As a direct comparison, when former President Donald Trump’s campaign shared its first-quarter fundraising numbers with POLITICO, it said he raised nearly $19 million across both the campaign (which raised $14.4 million) and his joint fundraising committee ($18.8 million), which transferred $14 million to the campaign.

Using the Haley campaign’s methodology, Trump would have raised more than $32 million — a figure far greater than his actual haul.

That said, there are examples of Trump’s campaign fudging the math, too. Ahead of the last quarterly deadline, in January, some media outlets reported the Trump campaign claimed it raised $9.5 million from the launch of his third bid for the presidency — even though the actual number after the filings should have been closer to $5 million, since it also included transfers from joint fundraising committee into other committees.

Go To Source