February 19, 2016

Katy Perry was paid $70,000 by Hillary Clinton's campaign, The Washington Free Beacon reports. Perry was notably one of the first major celebrities to come out in support of Clinton; she was paid by the campaign for "event production" two months after she offered her endorsement.

Yet even before the reports came out, Perry's endorsement was being called into question. In a since-deleted Twitter rant on Wednesday, singer Ryn Weaver accused Perry of a "$$ endorsement."

#ImWithHer -Katy

A photo posted by Hillary Clinton (@hillaryclinton) on

While it isn't clear what specifically Perry was paid for by the campaign, the singer did headline Clinton events, including an Iowa rally, in October. Perry is performing with Elton John at a concert for campaign donors in March.

Clinton's campaign is not the first to have paid Perry for her services; the singer was paid more than $128,000 by Barack Obama when he was seeking re-election. Jeva Lange

February 18, 2016

Both Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton have tax plans that extend the "middle class" classification up to those earning $250,000 a year — a number that some experts say is arbitrary and false.

According to the latest U.S. Census Bureau statistics reported by CNN Money, those with incomes of $250,000 a year are among the nation's top earners, with households making $206,600 considered within the top 5 percent in 2014. A truly "middle class" American family makes more like $53,700 a year; Pew Research Center defines the middle class as those making two-thirds to two times the median income for one's household size, meaning a truly middle-class family of three would earn between $42,000 and $126,000 a year.

Sanders and Clinton aren't the first to have such a generous definition of the "middle," however. Former President Bill Clinton also campaigned with the number $250,000 in 1992, according to the chief economist of Tax Analysts Martin Sullivan; Clinton's top tax bracket applied to those making over $250,000. Obama also used this earning as a threshold to define "wealthy" and "middle class."

Sullivan blamed the disconnect between politicians and "true" middle class income on the fact that decision makers in Washington are surrounded by people with above-average salaries. "$250,000 has become enshrined, but it's not based on an economic study. It's a number people have become comfortable with," he said. Jeva Lange

October 16, 2015

Over 99.9 percent of Bernie Sanders' donors are still eligible under federal law to give more money to his presidential primary campaign — meaning the Vermont senator's wild fundraising numbers aren't likely to let up anytime soon. Sanders has raised nearly $41.5 million since April, The Huffington Post reports, with only .039 percent of those donors having hit the $2,700 maximum allowed in a primary. Of Sanders' 680,959 donors, only 270 have hit that donation ceiling.

Sanders average third-quarter donation was for $30, according to his campaign, and he was the first 2016 candidate to reach a million donors, helping him rake in $27 million in the third quarter. Hillary Clinton only leads by a nose: Her campaign raised $28 million in the same period. Jeva Lange

August 27, 2015

Graduates who earn the highest starting salaries straight out of college don't come from Brown or Columbia or Cornell or Dartmouth or Harvard or Penn or Princeton or Yale. None of the country's eight Ivy League schools even crack the top 10 for highest "early career pay," according to numbers gathered from nearly 1.5 million employees and crunched by PayScale. So how do you make the big bucks right away? Go to military school.

U.S. Naval Academy students make the most out of college, earning a median salary of $82,900 over the first five years out of the gates. West Point, at $82,800, comes in second, followed by Harvey Mudd, MIT, then yes, another military school, this one the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. The U.S. Air Force Academy also cracked the top 10.

Not only do Ivy League schools not appear in the top 10, they don't crack the top 20. Or 30. Harvard is 31st on the list. Dartmouth is all the way back at 56th.

See the whole list here (and check out Wonkblog's analysis over here). Jeva Lange

August 14, 2015

Oh, to be rich and famous and running for president! Hillary Clinton, however, doesn't want to look like she's kicking back in the Hamptons — although that's exactly what she'll be doing at the end of August, according to Page Six. To make it look like "work," however, Clinton has dubbed her vacation Hillary in the Hamptons and decided to "fundraise" at events like a pancake breakfast with her wealthy friends.

What's more, Clinton and husband Bill are rumored to be spending $100,000 for a two-week stay at the four-bedroom home of Republican art collector Andre Nasser and wife Lois in Amagansett, New York. But the elbow-rubbing doesn't end there — Page Six says Clinton will flit about the East End, meeting with millionaire friends including Artie Rabin, the Brooklyn Nets co-owner, and Alan Patricof, a venture-capitalist who founded Apex Partners and, oh by the way, is worth over $150 million.

Patricof will also be hosting a jaunty Pancake Breakfast with Hillary. Likewise, Full Moon on the Farm with Hillary Rodham Clinton will be hosted at the East Hampton house of Hilary Leff and entertainment lawyer Elliot Groffman. Free idea: Adapt Hillary's fundraising events into children's books? Jeva Lange

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