Steyer leads presidential candidates in third-quarter fundraising and spending; Trump continues to lead for cycle

 The Daily Brew
Welcome to the Wednesday, Oct. 23, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Steyer leads presidential candidates in third-quarter fundraising and spending; Trump continues to lead for cycle
  2. SCOTUS to determine constitutionality of CFPB structure
  3. Join us for our Oct. 29 briefing on vulnerable trifectas in 2019

Steyer leads presidential candidates in third-quarter fundraising and spending, Trump continues to lead for cycle

Businessman Tom Steyer (D) led all presidential candidates in fundraising for the third quarter of 2019, according to financial reports filed with the Federal Elections Commission Oct. 15. Steyer raised $49.6 million during the quarter, including $47.6 million in self-funding. He spent $47.0 million overall, including $34.1 million on television, digital, and direct mail ads. He was followed in fundraising by President Trump (R), who raised $41.0 million, and in spending by Bernie Sanders (I), who spent $21.6 million. Sanders announced his first ad buy, totaling $1.3 million, on October 1.

Since the beginning of 2017, President Trump has raised $165 million—nearly twice the $92.5 million President Obama (D) had raised at this point in his 2012 re-election campaign. According to Republican National Committee (RNC) campaign finance reports, Trump and the RNC have raised a combined $659 million. At this point in the 2012 campaign cycle, Obama and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) had raised a combined $402 million. At this point in the 2016 campaign, Trump had raised $5.8 million.

Trump had the most cash on hand of any candidate with $83.2 million. Sanders followed with $33.8 million. Two other candidates had more than $20 million on hand: Elizabeth Warren (D) with $25.7 million and Pete Buttigieg (D) with $23.4 million.

The 19 noteworthy Democratic candidates have collectively raised $437 million this cycle to President Trump’s $165 million and reported $130 million cash on hand to Trump’s $83.2 million.

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SCOTUS to determine constitutionality of CFPB structure

On Oct. 18, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear Seila Law v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), a case challenging the constitutionality of the bureau’s structure.

The CFPB is an independent agency created by the Dodd-Frank Act in 2010. Unlike other independent agencies of the federal government, which are generally headed by multi-member commissions, the CFPB is led by a single director who is only removable by the president for cause. The Supreme Court upheld cause removal protections for the multi-member commissions of independent agencies in the 1935 case Humphrey’s Executor v. United States, but the ruling did not apply to single agency heads. 

Seila Law, a national law firm, challenged the constitutionality of the bureau’s structure because the CFPB’s single director is only removable for cause. The firm contended that the director’s cause removal protections unconstitutionally prevent the president from unilaterally firing the agency’s head. The firm said in its petition, “the importance of the [separation of powers] question presented [by this case] cannot be overstated.”

On May 6, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the bureau’s structure was constitutional, concluding that the for-cause removal protections are similar to those of the Federal Trade Commission (upheld in Humphrey’s Executor v. United States).

In a brief filed with the court on Sept. 17, Solicitor General Noel Francisco on behalf of the CFPB agreed with Seila Law, claiming that the bureau’s structure violates the separation of powers doctrine because it prevents the president from unilaterally firing the agency’s single director.

This case is not the first time that the constitutionality of the CFPB’s structure has been challenged. In October 2016, a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled 2-1 that the organizational structure of the CFPB was unconstitutional. The full D.C. Circuit—with then-Judge Brett Kavanaugh dissenting—went on to uphold the bureau’s constitutionality in January 2018. In June 2018, Judge Loretta Preska of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York also found the structure of the CFPB to be unconstitutional. Judge Preska’s ruling is pending appeal before the United States Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit.

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Join us for our October 29 briefing on vulnerable trifectas in 2019

Trifecta control of the governorship and both legislative chambers in a state gives a political party the opportunity to advance its agenda. Five states are holding gubernatorial or state legislative elections in November that could cause changes in party control. Three of those states are currently under trifecta control Kentucky, Mississippi, and New Jersey. Louisiana and Virginia are under divided government. They could remain under divided government or become new trifectas. 

If this sounds interesting, register today for our free briefing to get an in-depth look at these upcoming elections and an overview of what’s at stake in each state. Ballotpedia staff writers David Luchs and Joel Williams will walk you through what you need to know — whether you’re a voter in one of these states, or simply want to be informed.

It’ll be worth your time — click the link below to register and join us.

Register today→

 




About the author

Dave Beaudoin

Dave Beaudoin is a project director at Ballotpedia and can be reached at dave.beaudoin@ballotpedia.org

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