Summary List Placement
Before Donald Trump lost the 2020 election and stalled the presidential transfer effort last year, Democrats were already cutting checks to Joe Biden’s transition team to prepare for such a scenario.
Party heavyweights wanted to make sure that even if Biden didn’t have access to official government documents, his team would have plenty of cash to get ready for his new job.
And Democrats and other like-minded Americans came through. Together they contributed more than $22.1 million — according to a disclosure document released Monday by the General Services Administration. Such fundraising obliterates previous marks for presidential transition funds, according to federal records.
Biden’s transition effort started receiving checks back in May 2020 — even before Biden had clinched the nomination, according to the document.
Biden’s transition disclosure listed the first and last names of more than 45,000 contributors but no other identifying information, such as donors’ addresses, employers, and occupations.
Among the donors to Biden’s transition fund, are those bearing names of notable people. They include:
Billionaire investor George Soros, $5,000
Billionaire environmental activist Tom Steyer, $5,000
Mary Trump, niece of former President Donald Trump, $2,800
Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, $5,000
Democratic megadonor and philanthropist Amber Mostyn, $5,000
Former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue, $5,000
Actress Jennifer Aniston, $5,000
Kathryn Murdoch, daughter-in-law of media mogul Rupert Murdoch, $5,000
Former Chicago Cubs team President Theo Epstein, $2,800
Film producer Jeffrey Katzenberg, $5,000
RockCreek investment firm CEO Afsaneh Beschloss, $5,000
Actor Leonardo DiCaprio, $5,000
Lukas Walton, grandson of Walmart founder Sam Walton, $5,000
Director and producer Jeffrey Abrams, $5,000
Former Obama Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, $5,000
Former congressman and lobbyist Martin Frost, $5,000
Former congressman and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate John Delaney, $5,000
Democratic political operative Tracy Sefl, $1,000
Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, $1,000
Notably absent from the list: former President Barack Obama and 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
Huge money for a transition
In all, the Biden transition fund reported spending nearly $24.4 million through February 14.
Of that, the team spent more than half — about $13.7 million — on payroll, according to the disclosure. Other expenses include “travel and events” ($5 million), “IT” ($1.53 million), “professional services” ($1.3 million), “communications and research” ($1.22 million, “fundraising/processing fees” ($887,000), and “operations” ($758,000), the document states.
It wasn’t clear if Biden’s transition fund is carrying debt or had balanced its books in recent days.
On January 1, the Biden transition team sent an email to supporters thanking them for helping to raise more than $20.7 million by that point.
“With only 78 days between Election Day and Inauguration, you knew that there was no time to waste — and you met the moment,” the email said. The transition team faced “unprecedented transition expenditures due to the pandemic, including COVID testing, costs associated with remote work, safe event spaces, and heightened cybersecurity measures,” the email said.
The transition team employed more than 400 staffers and coordinated hundreds of volunteers.
The Presidential Transition Act allows presidents-elect to raise up to $5,000 from any individual “person, organization or other entity.” Biden’s team was required to submit the fundraising report within 30 days of his inauguration under the law that governs presidential transitions.
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Source:: Business Insider