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Group says it has raised over $1.7 million for Hillary Clinton

Ready for Hillary, the independent group devised to build support for Hillary Rodham Clinton’s potential 2016 presidential campaign, said Thursday that it had brought in 22,000 new donors and raised more than $1.7 million in the three-month period that ended March 31.

The group aims to build grass-roots support with small donations solicited over the Internet, which was something of a struggle during Clinton’s 2008 presidential bid. But it said that 98 percent of the contributions in the first three months of the year were for $100 or less, and 9,500 donations were for $20.16, a popular option at Ready for Hillary’s events nationwide.

Clinton’s supporters are hoping to build a campaign-ready infrastructure and donor base should she decide to run. Fundraising efforts have recently picked up, with Ready for Hillary and Priorities USA, the so-called super PAC that supported President Barack Obama, asking major donors for tens of thousands of dollars for a campaign that does not even exist. One of Clinton’s donation bundlers, who did not want to be quoted by name talking about the recent efforts, said many of the biggest donors from her 2008 campaign will not became fully involved until Clinton makes a formal announcement.

Ready for Hillary has said its goal is to focus on small contributions. The group has put a $25,000 limit on donations and has raised more than $5.75 million since it began operations shortly after Clinton left the State Department in February 2013.

Ready for Hillary said it would shut down if Clinton announced her intentions to run and would be likely to ask donors to transfer their support to the official campaign.

—Amy Chozick, The New York Times

BMW recalls 156,000 vehicles with 6-cylinder engines

BMW is recalling about 156,000 vehicles equipped with 6-cylinder engines because a defect could cause stalling or engine damage, the automaker said in a news release Thursday.

BMW said “in very rare cases the bolts holding the variable camshaft timing (VANOS) unit housing may become loose or, in extreme cases, break.” In such cases, the driver would be alerted by a check-engine warning light. Power to the engine could be reduced and “if ignored, the problem can become progressively worse, eventually leading to no-start conditions, stalling and engine damage.”

The models affected by the recall are the 1 Series, 3 Series, 5 Series, 5 Series Gran Turismo, X3, X5, X6 and Z4 from the 2010-12 model years, as well as the 2012 6 Series.

The automaker is not aware of any accidents related to the problem, David Buchko, a spokesman for BMW, said in an email.

—Christopher Jensen, The New York Times