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Snapshots: Clinton halfway to $1B fundraising goal

Hillary Clinton’s campaign is halfway to its goal of raising a billion dollars for the 2016 race, according to her finance director.

Dennis Cheng announced the achievement on Thursday in a meeting with staff at the campaign’s headquarters in Brooklyn, New York, according to a campaign aide who was present for the meeting but wasn’t authorized to discuss internal campaign strategy and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Her campaign has resisted publicizing a fundraising target for the general election, fearing it would draw attention to big donors at a time when voters angry about the role of money in politics. She aimed to raise $100 million for her primary bid.

Clinton raised $90 million for her campaign and Democratic party committees in July, according to finance reports released on Saturday. She’s maintained a staff of about 700 for months, opened up offices across the country and already spent $67 million on general election ads. This week, she’ll spend at least $10 million more on ads.

GOP rival Donald Trump raised $80 million for his campaign and the Republican party, including a $2 million contribution from Trump himself. He’s kept his payroll to about 70 employees, only began airing ads in recent days and has not undertaken a significant operational buildout across the country. Instead, nearly half the money he spent in July went to one web design firm, whose president is the campaign’s director of digital marketing.

Trump doubles spending

Donald Trump’s campaign expenses more than doubled last month, even as the Republican presidential nominee held his payroll to about 70 employees, aired no television advertisements and undertook no significant operational buildout across the country.

Instead, about half of the campaign’s $18.5 million in spending was vacuumed up by Giles-Parscale, a web design and marketing firm new to national politics, Federal Election Commission filings show. It’s a crossover vendor from Trump’s real estate organization.

The campaign paid Giles-Parscale $8.4 million in July, about twice what the San Antonio firm had collected from it over the course of the preceding year. Brad Parscale, the president, is the campaign’s director of digital marketing.

The big expense came as Trump put a new emphasis on online fundraising, after paying for his primary run mostly out of his own pocket.

Millions more went to air travel. The campaign paid about $2 million for private jets other than Trump’s own TAG Air, which also collected $500,000.

Trump made his first ad buy a few days ago, for nearly $5 million in commercials to air across Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania and North Carolina.

Clinton’s campaign spent $38 million in July, about double the Trump campaign’s outlay.