Clinton beefs up campaign, super PAC warchests

Hillary Clinton: Trump not qualified to be president
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Story highlights

  • Clinton's top super PAC has $47 million, and her campaign has $30 million as of the end of April
  • Clinton has been working with the DNC on a joint fundraising effort to boost Democrats nationwide this fall

Austin, Texas (CNN)Hillary Clinton and her allies are beefing up their campaign and super PAC operations in preparation for the fight against Donald Trump.

Clinton: Trump not qualified to be president
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Clinton's top super PAC, Priorities USA, said Friday it has $47 million in the bank. Her campaign raised $20 million in April. And working with the Democratic National Committee, she is amping up coordinated campaign operations in eight battleground states.
    The Hillary Victory Fund, a joint fundraising effort between the Clinton campaign, the DNC and state parties, is now diverting millions of dollars to flow to coordinated campaigns in Florida, Wisconsin, Nevada, Colorado, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire and North Carolina, sources with knowledge of the plan say. Top Democrats in the eight states expect expensive contests on multiple fronts come November, and are investing to bolster efforts with the expectation that a strong presidential campaign benefits Senate and House candidates.
    Priorities USA, the top Clinton super PAC, continues to draw in cash ahead of the general election. The group raised $8.6 million in April and had $47 million on hand as of the end of the month, the super PAC said in a statement. It also claims to have "additional commitments" of $45 million.
    Clinton's official campaign had slightly more than $30 million on hand as of April 30, her campaign said in a filing with the Federal Election Commission. It raised about $25 million in April -- less than she raised in the previous two months -- and spent close to as much, $23.9 million.
    Elsewhere in the liberal money world, Democratic megadonor Tom Steyer continued to funnel his fortunes into his super PAC that supports candidates who are aggressive about combating climate change. He invested another $7 million into the NextGen Climate Action Committee last month, according to the group's FEC filing.
    Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has criticized Clinton's super PAC and Victory Fund operations during the campaign. His speeches criticize the use of super PACs -- outside groups that can raise and spend unlimited amounts of cash -- and he has also raised questions about the Hillary Victory fund, accusing Clinton of "laundering" money through the outfit that is meant to benefit down-ballot Democrats. Sanders and his top aides particularly faulted Clinton for transferring most money to the DNC, rather than the state parties.
    Sanders' campaign outraised Clinton in April, according to his FEC filing. He raised $27 million, but spent $39 million and ended the month with just under $6 million in the bank.
    The Hillary Victory Fund operation allows Clinton to collect $350,000 checks from wealthy contributors. At the time, the Clinton campaign said that was because coordinated campaigns had not been built yet and that additional funds would go to the state parties in May.
    Two sources with knowledge tell CNN that around $1 million was transferred in April to eight state parties and $1 million has already been transferred this month. The money is being used primarily to cover payroll for the campaigns and more is expected to be transferred in the coming weeks, the sources said. The transfers were reported by the Associated Press.
    According to a Democrat with knowledge of the plans, the DNC has already hired "a couple hundred folks" including organizers who used to work for Clinton, Sanders and former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, who ran for president but dropped out after the Iowa caucuses.
    The plan, according to the Democrats, is for the $2 million to just be an initial outlay, with more coordinated campaigns announced next month, the source said.
    "The goal is to lay the groundwork for coordinated campaigns now and get ready for the general election, like organizing volunteers and field staffers early rather than later and helping races up and down the ballot," said one Democrat. "Trump and the GOP are starting early and we need to do the same."
    While Sanders criticized Clinton for the joint fundraising efforts, the Vermont senator has raised money only for certain House candidate and has yet to use his own joint fundraising effort with the DNC.