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Let's explore the payrolls of the Clinton and Trump campaigns

November 01, 2020

Written by admin

political campaign staff salaries trump clinton

As a payroll company, we’re always interested in payroll-related data. This week, we decided to see how that applies to the payroll budgets and salaries of the Clinton and Trump campaigns in the 2016 Presidential Election.

All of these salary facts addressed in this article are estimates based on the bi-weekly paychecks reported in FEC data. Major political campaigns are required by law to report operating expenditures, including salary and payroll, to the FEC.

Total payroll

Clinton campaign: $44.1 million (9.9% of total campaign expenditures)

Trump campaign: $5.3 million (2.1% of total campaign expenditures)

Presidential Campaign Payroll Chart 1.png


Campaign budget breakdown

To better understand the Trump and Clinton's campaigns, it is important to also understand the total allocation of money. As of September 2016, Donald Trump had raised $52.9 million, spent $68.4 million, and had $34.8 million cash on hand. Hillary Clinton had raised $72.1 million, spent $80.8 million, and had $60 million cash on hand. 

How many employees are on each campaign’s payroll?

Clinton campaign: over 600

Trump campaign: under 75

This does not mean the Clinton campaign is 8 times larger than the Trump campaign. On Trump’s payroll many of the salaries you’ll find on the Clinton campaign can not be found. That’s because the Trump campaign tends to outsource most of its operations to Independent Contractors, as opposed to putting them on the internal campaign payroll like the Clinton campaign.

There are benefits to both approaches. Some people would much rather be employees, because there’s less administrative work required and the employer pays a share of their taxes. On the other hard, some people would rather be independent contractors, because they tend to collect more money up front and through write-offs and other means have more control over how much they pay their taxes, and when.

Salaries of the top staffers

Clinton campaign

Amanda Renteria, Political Director - $114,048

Jennifer Palmieri, Communications Director - $131,000

Robby Mook, Campaign Manager - $121,000

Trump campaign

Kellyanne Conway, Political Director - $240,000

Stephen Bannon, CEO - undisclosed

Clinton campaign staff salaries

Clinton pays her Press Secretary, Brian Fallon, $93,000 and similarly, her Digital Director, Jenna Lowenstein, receives $92,000. Her Operations Director, Marisa McAuliffe, makes $85,000 a year. And $43,542.72 is the standard salary for one of her field employees.

Clinton campaign salaries.png

Trump campaign salaries and consultant fees

Trump’s field employees make $45,554.95. And the average salary for a non-field employee is $59.307.69.

As mentioned earlier, the “missing” payroll salaries within the Trump campaign cannot be found because he has a numerous amount of consultants and contractors in place of those positions equivalent to the Clinton campaign. The campaign has a variety of consultants which perform duties like strategy, administration, finance and more.

Research Consultant- $300,000
Administrative- $300,000
Fundraising- $700,000
Communications- $900,000
Compliance- $900,000
Ballot Access Consulting- $1,500,000
Event- $1,700,000
Strategy- $1,700,000
Legal- $2,900,000
Field- $5,100,000

Trump campaign consultants (1).png

Finally, some interesting facts about these campaigns

Donald Trump has his own payroll companies, Trump Payroll Corp. and Trump Tower Commercial LLC. He pays all his staff through these companies.

The Trump campaign has spent over $850,000 alone on hats.

The Clinton campaign paid a $1,610.34 payroll expense to a man to not attend her Chicago rally. This man was known as a common "rally disruptor" and Clinton was trying to avoid any possible hindrance during her rally.

That's a lot of information for one to think about. But since we're a payroll company, we get excited about stuff like this. Moving forward, expect more articles from us that examine the payrolls and salary data of other well known people and organizations.

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DISCLAIMER: The information provided herein does not constitute the provision of legal advice, tax advice, accounting services or professional consulting of any kind. The information provided herein should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional legal, tax, accounting, or other professional advisers. Before making any decision or taking any action, you should consult a professional adviser who has been provided with all pertinent facts relevant to your particular situation and for your particular state(s) of operation.

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