Here's Every 'Draft' and 'Ready For' 2016 Super-PAC

All of the active groups registered with the FEC, from Ready for Hillary to Ready for Robert USA USA USA USA.

Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

When it comes to getting eager, or less than eager, politicians to run for the nation's highest office, the Super-PAC-as-encouraging-nudge strategy is still alive and well. 

Fans of Vice President Joe Biden can now show their support 24/7, with "Ridin' with Biden" t-shirts, bumper stickers, tote bags, and sippy cups. Draft Joe Biden 2016, one of the many candidate-oriented political action committees, launched a new website and Cafe Press store, because "[i]t's a great way for the Vice President's supporters to connect and engage," the PAC's executive director William Pierce said in a statement. 

We're now in the 2016 announcement season, meaning all of the long shot presidential draft campaigns have just a few months to make their cases to potential candidates (and potential donors). Some of the candidates, like Democratic Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren have firmly ruled out the possibility of a run. But candidates like Vice President Joe Biden are still mulling the option.

We combed through the Federal Election Commission's records to find every active "Draft" or "Ready for" PAC geared towards electing someone to the White House in 2016. Here they are, in order of when the group filed its statement of organization with the FEC.

National Draft Ben Carson for President Committee

Candidate: Dr. Ben Carson

Filed on: Aug. 21, 2013

Website: www.2016committee.org

Finances: Raised $13.5 million in 2014, and ended the year with $649,464 in cash. 

Background: The draft Ben Carson effort has gained attention for raising a surprising about of money—nearly half a million more than Ready for Hillary—but also spending a lot of money. Several media sites have noted that most of the committee's funds have gone towards raising more money. In a profile of the group's political director, Vernon Robinson, Mother Jones noted that he's a skilled fundraiser, despite having a history of failed political campaigns and a tendency towards anti-immigrant rhetoric. 

Ready for Hillary

Candidate: Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

Filed on: Jan. 25, 2013

Website: www.readyforhillary.com

Finances: Raised $12.9 million in 2014, and ended the year with $748,469 in cash. 

Background: As The Washington Post noted, the purpose of Ready for Hillary was never to convince Clinton to run, but to "serv[e] as a visibility campaign for the past two years" and "develop[e] a list of supporters." Second only to the Draft Ben Carson campaign, it has raised more money than any other "ready for" PAC out there. 

Draft Ted Cruz for President

Candidate: Senator Ted Cruz, a Texas Republican and declared 2016 candidate

Filed On: Jan. 14, 2014

Website: runtedrun.com

Total Money Raised: Raised $485,469 in 2014, and ended the year with $42,307. 

Background: This PAC was started by Paul Kilgore, who raised $5.6 million for former Texas Governor Rick Perry's 2012 presidential campaign. 

Ready for Warren Presidential Draft Campaign

Candidate: Senator Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat

Filed on: Aug. 7, 2014

Website: ready4warren.com

Finances: Raised $98,768 in 2014, and ended the year with $20,883. 

Background: Warren has been beyond clear about her lack of support for this group. In August 2014, her lawyer sent a letter to the FEC disavowing the group. "The senator has not, and does not, explicitly or implicitly, authorize, endorse, or otherwise approve of the organization’s activities," the letter read, according to the Boston Globe. "To the contrary, Senator Warren has publicly announced that she is not running for president in 2016."

Draft Bernie 

Candidate: Senator Bernie Sanders, Independent from Vermont

Filed On: Jan. 28, 2014

Website: draftbernie.com

Total Money Raised: Received $6,819 in 2014 and ended the year with $1,728 in cash. 

Background: According to its website, Draft Bernie has "three primary goals: 1) get Bernie into the race, 2) support him once he is there, 3) broaden the debate no matter who ends up running." 

Draft Scott Walker Virginia

Candidate: Scott Walker, the Republican Governor of Wisconsin

Filed On: March 13, 2015

Website: N/A

Finances: The PAC filed a report for March 2015. It raised $3,134 in March 2015, and ended the month with $2,327. 

Background: Former by Jason E. Call of Virginia. 

Draft Rob Portman

Candidate: Republican Ohio Senator Rob Portman

Filed On: Nov. 3, 2014

Website: www.draftrobportman.com — The website was expired at the time this story was published.

Finances: The group raised $480 in 2014 and had $293 in cash at the end of the year.

Background: The group was started last fall by two frat guys at the College of William & Mary. "We just really, really admire Rob Portman and we think Senator Portman is exactly the kind of leader America is going to need in 2016," Trevor Parkes, one of the founders of the PAC, told Bloomberg at the time.

Draft Brian Schweitzer

Candidate: Brian Schweitzer, former Democratic Governor of Montana

Filed On: July 21, 2014

Website: N/A

Finances: $102 cash on hand at end of 2014

Background: Schweitzer was considered a potential Democratic presidential candidate until he said Eric Cantor set off his "gaydar" in a June 2014 profile in the the National Journal derailed his political future. A month later Pat Perugino, a then 23-year-old political consultant, and a friend filed paperwork with the FEC for the PAC, the Wall Street Journal reported.  

"I don't think it hurt his chances at all," Perugino told the Journal. "It's just a minor slip up, no different from any other politician."

Ready for Rand

Candidate: Senator Rand Paul, a Kentucky Republican and declared presidential candidate

Filed on: March 2, 2015

Website: readyforrand.com

Finances: No FEC filings to date. 

Background: Senator Paul declared his candidacy on April 7. In a press release sent out the day before Paul announced, the group said it would be "focusing on motivating Millennials by the prospect of a new non-dogmatic approach to politics that puts people before ideology."

Ready for Robert USA USA USA USA

Candidate: Robert Gates, former Secretary of Defense

Filed on: March 9, 2015

Website: readyforrobertusausausausapac.com

Finances: No FEC filings to date.

Background: Gates shouldn't get his hopes up about this one. There are exactly two sentences on the site's homepage. Here's the site's entire justification for electing Gates. "Robert Gates has expressed absolutely no interest in running for President, and we believe that makes him absolutely qualified."

Peter Ronson, the PAC's treasurer told Bloomberg the committee's effort to draft Gates is "very serious." Ronson called Gates an "exemplary public servant,"and added,"I think right away that wanting to be president should disqualify you in the mind of a voter." Ronson said the group prefers not to disclose how much it has raised.

Ready for Bernie Sanders 2016

Candidate: Senator Bernie Sanders, Independent from Vermont

Filed on: Feb. 11, 2015

Website: Run through the Independent National Party Committee

Finances: No FEC filings to date. 

Background: This PAC was founded by Cary Lee Peterson, the chairman of the Independent National Committee. Peterson told Bloomberg's Julie Bykowicz that he believes he can raise millions of dollars for a potential Sanders campaign. 

Draft Joe Biden 2016

Candidate: Vice President Joe Biden

Filed On: March 18, 2015

Website: draftbiden2016.com

Finances: Draft Joe Biden 2016 hasn't filed any reports yet. Their goal was to raise $25,000 by the end of March. 

Background: Formed by former Biden staffers and campaign volunteers who don't want another Bush or Clinton in the White House. “Voters are tired of dynasties in American politics, and certainly want an election instead of a coronation,” Will Pierce, the group's executive director, told the New York Times last month. “The House of Bush and the House of Clinton have had their run, and looking towards the future, Vice President Joe Biden is uniquely suited to tackle the issues America will face over the next decade.”

Draft Scott Walker for President

Candidate: Scott Walker, the Republican Governor of Wisconsin

Filed On: Feb. 18, 2015

Website: www.draftscottwalker16.com

Total Money Raised: No filings yet. The PAC's website claims that it doesn't accept donations. 

Background: According to its website, Draft Scott Walker is a "movement" made up of "business people and homemakers, retirees and students, wives and mothers, husbands and father...and above all, concerned citizens." 

Ready for Romney

Candidate: Former Republican presidential nominee and Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney

Filed On: Dec. 16, 2014

Website: www.romneyready.com (Not Active.)

Finances: No FEC filings to date - the group failed to file its end of year report. 

Background: Several long-time Romney advisers said they'd never heard of Jeffery Goff, the group's treasurer, who has never worked on a political campaign, The Daily Beast reported. The piece's author called the PAC "political amateur hour." Romney announced that he would not seek the Republican nomination in 2016 on Jan. 30, 2015

—This post has been updated to include a comment from the Ready for Robert USA USA USA USA PAC.

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