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Shunning Corporate Donors and Pledging People-Powered Campaign, Warren Shuttering Fundraising PAC

"This is a moment for all of the Democratic nominees to come into the race to say, 'In a Democratic primary we are going to link arms and we're going to say grassroots funding. No to the billionaires."

Julia Conley, staff writer

On "The Rachel Maddow Show" Wednesday night, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) said that all Democratic presidential candidates should pledge to run grassroots, people-funded campaigns in 2020. (Photo: @cahulaan/Twitter)

Urging any Democratic candidates who launch 2020 presidential campaigns to follow suit, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) announced on Thursday that she is shutting down her joint fundraising PAC.

A spokesperson for Warren announced the move to CNBC three days after the senator revealed that she is forming an exploratory committee ahead of a potential 2020 run, and a day after Warren appeared on MSNBC's "The Rachel Maddow Show," where she discussed the importance of Democrats ending their dependence on corporate donors and instead running grassroots campaigns powered by small donations from voters.

"I think this is a moment for all of the Democratic nominees to come into the race to say, 'In a Democratic primary we are going to link arms and we're going to say grassroots funding. No to the billionaires," Warren told Maddow.

Warren also denounced potential billionaire candidates who plan on self-funding their campaigns. As CNBC reported:

Her call for billionaires not to self-fund campaign operations follows CNBC's reporting that Democratic donor and former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg was prepared to spend more than $100 million on his own campaign organization if he were to run in 2020. Tom Steyer, a liberal billionaire from California, is also considering a run for president and will travel to the caucus and primary states of Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada early this year.

Through joint fundraising PACs like the Elizabeth Warren Fund, candidates can coordinate fundraising efforts with one another and other political action committees, allowing donors to contribute large amounts of money that the entities split.

During Warren's most recent re-election bid, the Fund raised $4.9 million. Its donors included a real estate investment firm as well as Morgan Stanley, which contributed $10,400.

"This is going to be the fish or cut bait year for the Democrats and it's going to be, 'How do we think government should work and who do we think government should work for?' Warren said Wednesday. "Is this going to be a Democratic primary that truly is a grassroots movement, that is funded by the grassroots, that's done with grassroots volunteers? Or is this going to be one more thing that billionaires can buy?"


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