Welcome to Pay Dirt—exclusive reporting and research from The Daily Beast’s Lachlan Markay on corruption, campaign finance, and influence-peddling in the nation’s capital. For Beast Inside members only.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is running a reform-minded bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, saying his campaign is “powered by you.” He’s also the only 2020 presidential candidate besides Donald Trump himself with Federal Election Commission-reported super PAC expenditures on his behalf.
And that support is already substantial. The pro-Inslee Act on Climate Now PAC has spent $250,000 on ads supporting his campaign, and has imminent plans to drop an additional million. The PAC already appears to be engaging in familiar tactics for ostensibly “independent” political groups that can raise and spent unlimited sums: Ads unveiled this week appear to use “b-roll” of Inslee, which, as PAY DIRT readers know, political campaigns often make available to “independent” groups through discrete channels that don’t technically run afoul of rules barring super PAC coordination.