02:21 - Source: CNN
GOP fundraiser talks Trump's financial disadvantage

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Future 45 has gone dormant

The super PAC also lost its chief fundraiser

Washington CNN —  

A super PAC that intended to spend millions on behalf of the Republican nominee has quietly gone dormant now that Donald Trump is leading the GOP another sign that the Republican ticket is being deprived of the cash that it needs to compete.

Future 45 was rolled out with much fanfare a year ago after raising hundreds of thousands of dollars from top Republican donors like Paul Singer and Ken Griffin. But it has ceased all its advertising after spending $730,000 on anti-Clinton advertising this winter.

The super PAC also lost its chief fundraiser and representatives of donors say they have not heard from the organization in months. It suddenly stopped making expenditures in February.

“Plan was always to be early, then assess. We’re assessing,” Brian O. Walsh, the group’s president, said. He declined to respond to repeated follow-up questions about whether it was still active.

The lack of activity is another reminder that national Republican outside groups are ditching their plans to spend big on taking back the White House given their controversial nominee.

Two major donor networks – one organized by Charles and David Koch, and Karl Rove’s Crossroads groups – are currently sitting out of the presidential race and focusing their dollars on Senate battles.

Several of Future 45’s original bankrollers are prominent Trump critics who have pulled all of their money from efforts to support the presidential ticket. Singer, who cut one of the original checks to the group and is the most prolific bundler in Republican politics, poured millions into defeating Trump during the primary and is now declining to endorse him in the general. Griffin, too, has so far declined to endorse Trump.

That’s a far cry from their initial moves in the 2016 cycle, when the group’s A-list funders and leadership-allied operatives sparked significant buzz in conservative finance circles about the role it would play. Several of the group’s donors are tied to an exclusive network called the American Opportunity Alliance, a new big-money network led by Singer and with strong ties to Wall Street and the pro-Israel donor community.

As indicated by its name, the super PAC and its associated nonprofit intended to focus solely on the race to become the 45th president. Last October, The Wall Street Journal reported millions in commitments to take down Hillary Clinton.

Singer and Griffin sent the group a quarter-million dollars each in mid-April, and Los Angeles investor Bill Powers chipped in another $100,000 a month later.

Soon after, the group unveiled Ron Weiser, a former U.S. ambassador and a prominent Republican fundraiser, as its finance chair. And in late 2015, it added Linda McMahon and the Ricketts family to its star-studded list of backers. (Neither McMahon nor the Ricketts family today oppose Trump.)

Then two months ago, Weiser discreetly left the super PAC when he was named a vice chair of Trump’s fundraising committee. No replacement has been publicly announced.