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Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar will reject corporate PAC money in 2020 bid

Key Points
  • Sen. Amy Klobuchar has joined the ranks of other 2020 presidential hopefuls who are rejecting campaign contributions from corporate political action committees, CNBC has learned.
  • Klobuchar announced Sunday in Minneapolis that she will be running for president. She later tweeted that she's not influenced by super PACs or lobbyists.
Senator Amy Klobuchar waves to the crowd with her husband John Bessler and daughter Abigail Bessler after announcing her candidacy for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination in Minneapolis, Minnesota, February 10, 2019.
Eric Miller | Reuters

Sen. Amy Klobuchar has joined the ranks of other Democratic 2020 presidential hopefuls who are rejecting campaign contributions from corporate political action committees, CNBC has learned.

In a brief statement first given to CNBC, campaign spokeswoman Carlie Waibel said the Minnesota lawmaker is walking away from corporate PAC money.

"The senator is not accepting contributions from corporate PACs during her campaign for president," Waibel said.

Klobuchar announced Sunday in Minneapolis that she is running for president. She later tweeted that she's not influenced by super PACs or lobbyists.

The move by Klobuchar to distance herself from PACs governed by corporations across the country comes as a wave of other Democrats running for president, including Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand and Elizabeth Warren, say that they too will not accept campaign donations from big businesses in an effort to appeal to grassroots voters.

Klobuchar has been no stranger to contributions from corporate PACs during her runs for Minnesota's Senate seat. In her 2018 re-election campaign, she raked in just under a quarter of her total haul from PACs, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. Of the $8 million Klobuchar raised in the last election cycle, $1.9 million came from PACs that represent industries ranging from agriculture to lobbying.

The decision to reject corporate donations is the latest move by Klobuchar to paint herself as someone who will stand up to the titans of industry.

At her snowy 2020 announcement, she made clear that one of her priorities is to regulate tech companies, such as Facebook, Google and Twitter.

"We need to put some digital rules into law when it comes to people's privacy. For too long the big tech companies have been telling you 'Don't worry! We've got your back!' while your identities are being stolen and your data is mined," Klobuchar said.