Who cares about climate change? Joe Biden’s campaign blew $924K on private jets
By Yaron Steinbuch
Joe Biden burned through campaign funds at a fast clip over the past three months, ending the final quarter in 2019 with less than $9 million — after his team shelled out over $924,000 on private jets.
The former vice president’s war chest of $8.9 million was a small fraction of what his leading rivals have on hand, according to newly released filings on how much each of the 12 Democratic candidates raised, spent and have left in coffers.
Among his biggest expenses were $924,000 spent on EJCR LLC Dba Advanced Aviation Team, a company that offers private jet charter services, Federal Election Commission data shows.
That figure represents about one out of every 16 bucks his campaign raised — after taking in about $15.7 million and spending $17.6 million during that same period, The Daily Beast noted.
With his anemic fundraising haul, Biden’s total cash on hand is less than all of his main rivals for the Democratic nomination, including even California Sen. Kamala Harris ($10.5 million), whose polling has plummeted recently.
Meanwhile, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders ($33.7 million) has more than three times more left to spend than Biden — while Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren ($25.7 million) and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg ($23.3 million) have well more than double the ex-veep’s total.
With the first votes of the Democratic contest around the corner, the candidates are entering a critical stretch when having an ample supply of cash can make or break a campaign.
Biden’s total raises questions about his continued viability as a front-runner.
“Can he do better at fundraising? Absolutely. And I think he will,” said Biden donor and fundraiser Steve Westly.
Among his expenditures, Biden spent more than $230,000 on “fundraising consultants” during the third quarter; almost $500,000 on direct mail; and huge chunks of change on pricey hotels in cities that serve as donor hubs but aren’t centrally located in early-voting states, The Daily Beast reported.
His campaign dropped more than $20,000 at the luxury Carlyle Hotel in Manhattan; more than $14,000 at the Coronado Island Marriott in San Diego — and more than $10,500 at the W Hotel in Los Angeles, among other high-end hotels.
Biden’s campaign, which spent almost $9 million on payroll, also blew through $228,378 on research consultants and $150,400 on “strategic consultants.”
Asked for comment, a Biden aide told The Daily Beast that some of the cost of the private jet travel was for carbon offsets, which compensate for the greenhouse gas emissions caused by personal air travel.