Ready for Hillary
|Ready for Hillary|
|President:||Judy A. Beck, Treasurer|
|Chairman:||Adam Parkhomenko and Allida Black, Co-founders|
|Year created:||January 2013|
Clinton is not formally connected to the group, which can raise and spend unlimited amounts of money. Super PACs are not allowed to coordinate their message or spending with any candidate or political party, and Ready for Hillary organizers say they have had no contact with Clinton or those in her immediate circle of advisers. The Clinton camp says the same. “They are an independent entity acting on their own passion,” said Nick Merrill, a Clinton spokesman. “Their energy and enthusiasm to convince her to run is inspiring, though only she in the end can make that very personal decision.”
Former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D), a high-profile backer of the group, said retaking control of Congress is necessary for Clinton — or any Democrat running for president — to be successful.
“Whoever the next Democratic president is, they don't want to be saddled with the same congress that President Obama has — you don't want a presidency where you're playing defense the whole time,” she said. “It's important for the Democratic Party that people get out there and change the dynamics so you don't have a paralyzed Congress."
- See also: Virginia gubernatorial election, 2013
“We have identified a large group of Hillary supporters in Virginia. There's a very important election this November, and we're absolutely going to make sure our supporters are aware of that election,” said Ready for Hillary executive director Adam Parkhomenko. “Any way our organization can help, within the legal limits, is something we'll do.”
The fall of 2013 will also focus on fundraising, with more than a dozen events being set up across the country including in New York, Los Angeles and Philadelphia.
Hiring of 270 Strategies
Ready for Hillary announced the hiring of a Democratic firm called 270 Strategies in July 2013 to oversee grassroots organizing, volunteer training and recruitment. The move helped improve the legitimacy of the group among some skeptical donors. The firm, started by top aides in President Barack Obama's last election, is working on a plan to expand the operation across the country.
The group has also recruited help from a number of veterans from Hillary and Bill Clinton’s political operation, including former Bill Clinton strategist Harold Ickes, former Clinton White House political director Craig Smith and former Hillary Clinton campaign lawyer Jim Lamb advising the group on strategy, while longtime confidant James Carville recently sent out a fundraising solicitation under his name.
According to guidelines, PACs that filed quarterly in 2012 file semi-annually in 2013.
Ready for Hillary says it will not accept million-dollar donations, as some super PACs have, instead opting for more of a grassroots approach to encouraging Clinton into the race. The maximum donation it accepts is $25,000. According to reports from July 2013, the group has reportedly already received -- and declined -- offers for donations worth millions of dollars. "We have turned away seven-figure checks," said co-founder Adam Parkhomenko.
Despite Ready for Hillary's reluctance to accept seven figure checks, the group invited supporters in August 2013 to donate amounts of $5,000 and above to be invited to donor meetings in NYC and Los Angeles. If a supporter donates $25,000 and above, he or she would be named as a co-chairman of the meetings held in November 2013.
In an effort to gear up for 2014 elections, the group will hold at least two fundraisers and information sessions in 2013.
October 2013: On October 22, 2013 former Tampa, Florida Mayor Sandy Freedman hosted a fundraiser and informational session about the group.
November 2013: On November 6, 2013, the group held a Los Angeles fundraiser, with an entry fee of $20.16. While the fundraiser raised just $8,000 for the group, organizers stressed that they are less focused on raising huge sums and more intent on building a national network of supporters ready to back her bid.
“We’ve had supporters from across the country say, ‘What can we do to help?,’” said Seth Bringman, a spokesman for the group. “One of the things we’re encouraging supporters to do, whether at small house parties or larger events like these, is to host small-dollar fundraising events. The money is used to gather and expand upon this grass roots army that we’re building to encourage Hillary to run,” he said. “Specifically, we’re doing quite a bit of digital advertising to get our name out there. We’ve become the vehicle through which Hillary supporters can express their support. We recently expanded our team in order to really be able to communicate with supporters across the country.”
The group is also planning possible events in locations including the University of Buffalo, the Twin Cities and San Francisco.
Philanthropist Agnes Gund held a high-end fundraiser in late November.
Merger with Hillary FTW fails
A planned merger between two political action committees competing to lay the groundwork for a Hillary Clinton presidential campaign fell through in July 2013 despite weeks of talks between the groups.
Under the discussed arrangement, Ready for Hillary, the leading PAC supporting Clinton’s possible presidential campaign in 2016, would have absorbed a smaller California-based group, HillaryFTW, or “Hillary For the Win.”
Hector Pacheco, a 26-year-old attorney, founded HillaryFTW in March 2013. He said he decided against the merger after about three weeks of talks with Ready for Hillary because of what he called “a handful of differences.”
“We are focused on California fundraising, Latina outreach, and trying to get down into raising money for political polling,” said Pacheco. “They’re more interested in running a campaign. The feeling was that this was the Hillary Clinton campaign without Hillary Clinton. So it wasn’t necessarily a deal that could be sweetened enough for me and my team.”
For one, Pacheco said he wants his effort to stay rooted in the West Coast, where he hopes to “create a groundswell around Hillary.” Ready for Hillary is based in northern Virginia, though it has hosted small rallies across the country. Ready for Hillary, Pacheco argued, is too “connected to D.C. and the East Coast, and more plugged into the scene there,” he said. “Whereas we’re more of an outsider group, and that’s something we enjoy and pride ourselves in.”
“This race is still three years away, but as we discussed the merger, it was clear that they wanted to make sure everything looked great from the get-go. They didn’t want to do big fundraisers. It was like perception is reality for them, and that’s not something we’re focusing on,” Pacheco said.
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Ready for Hillary PAC
PO Box 7705
McLean, VA 22106
- Ready for Hillary "About" Accessed August 5, 2013
- Huffington Post "Ready For Hillary Fundraising: Pro-Clinton Super PAC Nets Over $1 Million In Contributions " Accessed August 5, 2013
- Washington Post, "New pro-Hillary Clinton super PAC attracts donors and worries" Accessed August 5, 2013
- Washington Post, "Pro-Hillary super PAC raised $1 million in June" Accessed August 5, 2013
- Ready for Hillary "No Foolin' -- Ready for Hillary Super PAC Off to 'Super' Start After Just Two Months" Accessed August 5, 2013
- Washington Post, "McCaskill endorses effort to draft Hillary Clinton," June 18, 2013
- The Hill, "Ready for Hillary prepares to aid Clinton's down-ballot allies," accessed September 2, 2013
- Huffington Post "Ready For Hillary Fundraising: Pro-Clinton Super PAC Nets Over $1 Million In Contributions" Accessed August 5, 2013
- Huffington Post "Ready For Hillary Super PAC Hires Obama Campaign Veterans" Accessed August 5, 2013
- USA Today "Pro-Clinton super PAC raises $1.25 million" Accessed August 5, 2013
- Huffington Post "Ready For Hillary PAC Rejects Million-Dollar Donation Offer, Says It's Focusing On Grassroots" Accessed August 5, 2013
- Politico, "$4 million for Ready for Hillary," accessed January 8, 2014
- Real Clear Politics, "Clinton Super PAC Raised $4 Million in 2013," accessed January 13, 2014
- Politico, "Ready for Hillary invites donors to NYC, LA meetings," accessed August 23, 2013
- Politico, "‘Ready for Hillary’ ramping up," accessed October 10, 2013
- Washington Post, "‘Ready for Hillary’ campaign off and running, even if candidate isn’t yet," accessed November 11, 2013
- Politico, "Agnes Gund to host Ready for Hillary fundraiser," accessed November 24, 2013
- Buzz Feed "“Ready For Hillary” PAC Merger Falls Through" Accessed August 5, 2013
- Watchmen News "‘Ready For Hillary’ PAC Merger Falls Through" Accessed August 5, 2013
- The Daily Beast "Shots Fired Early in Hillary Clinton Super PAC War" Accessed August 5, 2013