WASHINGTON — After joining the House Republican leadership earlier this year, Rep. Tom Emmer has raised more than $5 million in campaign cash, sharing that haul with his re-election campaign, the national Republican Party and Minnesota’s 6th District Republican Party – the district he represents.
Since he was elected in January by House Republicans to as their majority whip, Emmer has created two new political action committees that are joint fundraisers, meaning they can share what they raise with other campaign organizations. One new PAC, called Team Emmer, jointly fundraises with the congressman’s personal campaign account and with Emmer’s leadership PAC, called the Electing Majority Making Effective Republicans (EMMER) PAC.
A second new joint fundraising committee, called the Emmer Victory Committee, jointly fundraises with the National Republican Congressional Committee, the CD6 GOP Federal Committee and the EMMER PAC.
Joint fundraisers allow donors to write big checks, which are then distributed to the other campaign committees by a formula that is based on the donation limits of each account. For instance, individual donations to Emmer’s re-election account are capped at $6,600 per election cycle, while donations to the NRCC can be as large as $123,900 per year.
“It’s an easier way to get more money out of a donor,” said Brendan Glavin, Open Secret’s senior data analyst, of joint fundraisers. “They bring (donors) all together and have them write big checks that they divvy up.”
Glavin said joint fundraising accounts have become more popular and both Republicans, like former President Donald Trump, and Democrats like House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-Calif., who are using these accounts to raise money for themselves, their party and their colleagues. According to Open Secret, joint fundraising committees raised nearly $2.6 billion in 2020, the past presidential election year.
Because of the large and frequent transfer of money from joint fundraising committees, “there are ways in which they help obscure the true volume of contributions and spending,” Glavin said.
Emmer’s various PACs have transferred hundreds of thousands of dollars to his other campaign accounts, the NRCC, fellow House Republican campaign accounts, and other fundraising partners.
Michael McAdams, the executive director of Team Emmer, said the congressman is just doing his job as GOP leader.
“Whip Emmer is committed to raising the money necessary to help Republicans expand their House majority and he appreciates everyone who has stepped up to help support that mission,” McAdams said.
Larry Jacobs, director of the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance in the Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota, also said massive fundraising is a part of Emmer’s job description as a Republican leader.
“If he does not do it, he will be replaced,” Jacobs said. “Emmer is the No. 3 leader in the House and fundraising, especially for vulnerable candidates, is a must.”
Jacobs also said “Emmer is ambitious, and he knows what is expected of him.” Although fundraising is a time-consuming chore for most lawmakers, Jacobs said Emmer is raising money to help make a reality of his ambitions – to rise up the GOP ranks to the position of majority leader or even House Speaker.
Besides holding the job of House Majority Whip, Emmer is a senior member of the House Financial Services Committee. Both positions that are huge assets when it comes to raising political money. Emmer has raised about $5.3 million in the first six months of this year in his personal campaign account and his PACs, more money than he raised in the entire, two-year, 2021-2022 campaign cycle.
According to Open Secrets, Emmer’s top contributors in the most recent election cycle worked for financial industries. PACs and individuals with ties to security and investment firms donated the most, $418,000, to the Republican’s re-election campaign, followed by those with ties to insurance, commercial banking and real estate firms.
And Open Secrets determined Emmer, a major crypto booster, received $95,466 from individuals and PACs with ties companies in his re-election campaign account in the last election cycle. That’s more money from the crypto industry than all other House members, except for House Financial Service Chairman Patrick McHenry, R-N.C. and Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif.
Emmer continues to receive generous donations from the financial services industry in this campaign cycle, both to his re-election campaign and his PACs, but his coast-to-coast donor base has grown.