Under Ann Tornberg, South Dakota Democrats involved in Hillary Clinton money shuffling story featured at Politico today

Remember how we’d see big out-of-state donations from the “Hillary Victory Fund” ran through the South Dakota Democrat Party’s federal account during the last presidential political cycle? It left a few of us scratching our heads, wondering “what on earth Ann Tornberg was doing?”

And now the veil is being lifted.

The big story in Politico today by former Democrat National Committee Chairwoman Donna Brazile titled “Inside Hillary Clinton’s Secret takeover of the DNC” about how the Hillary Clinton Campaign ran money through the state Democrat parties, and took control of a victory fund that was supposed to be for the nominee, and the state party races.

But instead, it was used to keep the National Democrat Party afloat:

On the phone Gary told me the DNC had needed a $2 million loan, which the campaign had arranged.

“No! That can’t be true!” I said. “The party cannot take out a loan without the unanimous agreement of all of the officers.”

“Gary, how did they do this without me knowing?” I asked. “I don’t know how Debbie relates to the officers,” Gary said. He described the party as fully under the control of Hillary’s campaign, which seemed to confirm the suspicions of the Bernie camp. The campaign had the DNC on life support, giving it money every month to meet its basic expenses, while the campaign was using the party as a fund-raising clearing house. Under FEC law, an individual can contribute a maximum of $2,700 directly to a presidential campaign. But the limits are much higher for contributions to state parties and a party’s national committee.

Individuals who had maxed out their $2,700 contribution limit to the campaign could write an additional check for $353,400 to the Hillary Victory Fund—that figure represented $10,000 to each of the thirty-two states’ parties who were part of the Victory Fund agreement—$320,000—and $33,400 to the DNC. The money would be deposited in the states first, and transferred to the DNC shortly after that. Money in the battleground states usually stayed in that state, but all the other states funneled that money directly to the DNC, which quickly transferred the money to Brooklyn.

“Wait,” I said. “That victory fund was supposed to be for whoever was the nominee, and the state party races. You’re telling me that Hillary has been controlling it since before she got the nomination?”

Gary said the campaign had to do it or the party would collapse.

Read that all here at the Politico magazine web site.

According to the report, something in the neighborhood of 32 states were involved in the Dem’s money shuffling scheme – and you can see that list included South Dakota, looking back to last year as we noticed cash being dumped into the SDDP:

In one of the larger monthly FEC Reports that Democrats have filed for a while, this report is remarkable as it notes a tremendous 637,214.28 in receipts, after beginning the month with 48,900.34 cash on hand, After spending around 30K of their new cash kitty, Democrats are left with over $650,000 in their federal account.

Where did all this loot come from? If you page down to page 2, 615,296.50 of these finds are said to have come from “Affiliated/Other Party Committees,” leaving a question as to whether these finds all belong to the South Dakota Democrat Party, or if the money is a component of a larger shell game of transferring cash from one entity to a state political party or other group in order to “launder” or otherwise clean the source of a donation for the cash for purposes of transferring to an entity where such a direct donation might be disallowed.

Who donated? The lions share of the funds – $600,000 of it comes directly from the Hillary Victory Fund

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That’s a lot of cash from a presidential campaign to dump into a little state like South Dakota.

Read it all here at SDWC.

And consider these massive cash moves in light of more disclosures by Donna Brazile:

Right around the time of the convention the leaked emails revealed Hillary’s campaign was grabbing money from the state parties for its own purposes, leaving the states with very little to support down-ballot races. A Politico story published on May 2, 2016, described the big fund-raising vehicle she had launched through the states the summer before, quoting a vow she had made to rebuild “the party from the ground up … when our state parties are strong, we win. That’s what will happen.”

Yet the states kept less than half of 1 percent of the $82 million they had amassed from the extravagant fund-raisers Hillary’s campaign was holding, just as Gary had described to me when he and I talked in August. When the Politico story described this arrangement as “essentially … money laundering” for the Clinton campaign, Hillary’s people were outraged at being accused of doing something shady. Bernie’s people were angry for their own reasons, saying this was part of a calculated strategy to throw the nomination to Hillary.

I wanted to believe Hillary, who made campaign finance reform part of her platform, but I had made this pledge to Bernie and did not want to disappoint him. I kept asking the party lawyers and the DNC staff to show me the agreements that the party had made for sharing the money they raised, but there was a lot of shuffling of feet and looking the other way.


The agreement—signed by Amy Dacey, the former CEO of the DNC, and Robby Mook with a copy to Marc Elias—specified that in exchange for raising money and investing in the DNC, Hillary would control the party’s finances, strategy, and all the money raised. Her campaign had the right of refusal of who would be the party communications director, and it would make final decisions on all the other staff. The DNC also was required to consult with the campaign about all other staffing, budgeting, data, analytics, and mailings.

I had been wondering why it was that I couldn’t write a press release without passing it by Brooklyn. Well, here was the answer.

Read that all here at the Politico magazine web site.

The entire article is pretty interesting. Even more so considering the South Dakota connection. According to the image at the top of the page, it appears South Dakota Democrats passed through at least 1.45 Million (UPDATED –  2.25 Million) over the course of 2016 – at a time when locally Democrats suffered historic defeats!

I guess we know who got the better end of that deal.

8 Replies to “Under Ann Tornberg, South Dakota Democrats involved in Hillary Clinton money shuffling story featured at Politico today”

  1. Anonymous

    Ann Tornberg laundered cash for Hillary. And then turns around and cries about campaign finance reform. Classic.

  2. JLB

    This is a great story Pat. I’ve been watching this on FEC reports for over a year. At the same time local dems were decrying “big money in politics” in the IM22 debate, it was their party, not the GOP, that was involved in this work around for mega donors to give huge sums of money to the Hillary campaign. To my knowledge this is perfectly legal if done right. But it is hypocritical to say the least.

    1. Lee Schoenbeck

      Sure no story. All cash is that clean, if you launder it really, really good and use extra Tide and corruption. No story here

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