Her campaign treasurer and another ally meet with these wealthy supporters.
2020 Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren swore off big money for her campaign. She vowed to run a grassroots campaign.
But Warren has wealthy supporters. Her campaign has organized ways for her to avoid meeting with them so she can say she runs her campaign on small-dollars.
Instead, her campaign treasurer and another ally meet with these wealthy supporters.
Remember, Warren lined her campaign with big dollar cash prior to her presidential run. She had the ability to begin her campaign with a bang because she transferred $10 million from big donors from her Senate fund.
As Warren rips on the wealthy, which is ironic since she’s worth millions, her two allies meet with those she supposedly hates.
The pair, Boston businessman Paul Egerman and activist Shanti Fry, have maintained campaign titles as Warren’s finance co-chairs, even as her campaign sheared other links to the Democratic donor class earlier this year by forswearing closed-door, in-person fundraising events of the sort Warren did for years in the Senate. Fry and Egerman — a longtime friend of Warren’s who helped build support for her first run for office — are courting big donors in the northeast by organizing trips, hosting events and acting as conduits for information about the campaign.
Egerman and Fry recently planned excursions to Warren’s 20,000-person rally in New York City and to the Iowa Democraty Party’s Liberty and Justice celebration in the first caucus state, according to people familiar with the trips. Fry solicits donations from supporters as well, one Boston friend said.
The Democratic Party may benefit from these meetings since the “donors may help finance the” party.
Instead of Warren attending, Egerman attends big-dollar fundraisers. Last week, he met with them at a trendy restaurant last week with a cardboard cutout of Warren.
Warren’s campaign attempted to brush aside the accusation, saying Egerman and Fry “help raise money for the campaign consistent with the campaign’s policies against pay-for access to Elizabeth.”
So Warren swears off big-dollar donors. This comes to light and the campaign tries to change the narrative. The campaign did not say if it “paid for any travel for Egerman or Fry, or for the donors, on trips that the finance co-chairs have organized to early-voting states and other Warren events.”
Egerman also has the background of those Warren rails against on a regular basis:
A multimillionaire who one acquaintance affectionately likened to a “beat-up Toyota Camry” for his unpretentious demeanor, Egerman earned his money as a health care technology entrepreneur, co-founding one company that eventually sold for $1.2 billion. He has since pivoted to professional advocacy, donated more than $9 million to Democratic politics over the last 25 years with his wife, Joanne, and become involved with organizations including the Jewish advocacy group J Street, the liberal think tank Demos — where Warren’s daughter is also a former board member — and Patriotic Millionaires, which advocates raising taxes on the wealthy. Egerman is a former treasurer and longtime member of the high-powered liberal donor group Democracy Alliance, which counts George Soros and Tom Steyer among its members.
Warren has picked up big-name Democratic donors, too:
- Fred Eychaner, the Chicago-based megadonor and chairman of Newsweb Corporation
- Sam Altman, former president of the technology accelerator Y Combinator
- Hollywood bundler Jeffrey Katzenberg
- Producer Shonda Rhimes
- Scarlett Johansson
- Amy Schumer
Now say Warren becomes the Democratic candidate. She would have to help raise money “for other campaigns and state parties,” which she has agreed to do.
Don Fowler, former head of the DNC, along with other Democrats pointed out her hypocrisy:
They say she can’t tell voters she is personally shunning big-dollar fundraisers while simultaneously headlining state and national party events at which she would raise millions of dollars from major donors supporting her bid for the White House.
“What I hope she understands is that after a candidate becomes the nominee, the DNC is their campaign and their campaign is the DNC,” said Rufus Gifford, Barack Obama’s 2012 finance chairman. “There is not a distinction that you can draw.”
Warren claimed she would help the Democratic money, but also said no one will force her “to make changes in how” she raises money.DONATE
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