June 22, 2021

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‘Getting a lot of money from politics’: The same 12 ‘mega donors’ found they were behind $ 3.4 billion in US political campaigns over the past decade

'Getting a lot of money from politics': The same 12 'mega donors' found they were behind $ 3.4 billion in US political campaigns over the past decade


According to a survey, the same 12 “mega donors” have been behind $ 3.4 billion given to US political parties or candidates over the past 10 years.

The group, which is fairly evenly split between Democrats and Republicans and which has at least eight billionaires among them, includes late Las Vegas casino mogul Sheldon Adelson and former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg.

Together they are responsible for 7.5% of the total $ 45 billion donated to federal campaigns between January 2009 and December 2020, according to an analysis of campaign funding data.

This would mean that in a country with more than 320 million people, a dozen individuals donated $ 1 for every $ 13 spent.

The team that compiled the report, the Washington-based Issue One Policy Reform Group, drew on data from the Center for Responsive Politics non-partisan research group. Number one urged Congress to “act urgently to curb the growing influence of money in our politics,” as reported by ABC News.

Republican donor and Las Vegas casino tycoon Sheldon Adelson pictured in 2019. Donated $ 90 million to Trump’s 2020 campaign. He died in January of this year.

(AFP via Getty Images)

Meredith McGehee, executive director of the first issue, wrote in the report: “Americans are losing faith in our democratic institutions. They see a political blockade and a failed campaign financing system that confers undue influence on billionaires and millionaires across the political spectrum, while the vast majority of ordinary citizens have no seat at the table. “

He added: “Congress must act urgently to curb the growing influence of money in our politics and build a system that truly represents all Americans, not just the rich few.”

Among the biggest donors was the late Republican casino tycoon, Sheldon Adelson, who donated more than $ 218 million to Republican campaigns and outside groups during the 2020 election.

The 87-year-old, who died in January of this year with an estimated net worth of $ 26.8 billion, donated $ 90 million to a pro-Trump super PAC called Preserve America.

Super PACs, independent political committees involved in fundraising for campaigns, can accept unlimited donations, unlike campaigns.

The largest overall donor was the self-financing of Michael Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg LP, who spent about $ 1 billion of his own money on his unsuccessful offer for the Democratic presidential nomination, as well as another $ 4 million from the manager. by hedge fund Tom Steyer.

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has donated most of all – $ 1.4 billion – including $ 1 billion of his own money in his failed presidential bid. Pictured in March 2020 after announcing the end of his campaign.

(Getty Images)

The remaining $ 2 billion is split between singles and married couples, including Democratic donors Dustin Moskovitz, a Facebook co-founder, Illinois-based media mogul Fred Eychaner, Donald Sussman, a New York-based financier; and mathematician and hedge fund manager Jim Simons, according to the report.

Among the Republican mega donors were Richard Uihlein, a shipping industry executive; hedge fund manager Ken Griffin; Timothy Mellon, president of Pan Am Systems; train Joe Ricketts, CEO of TD Ameritrade and co-owner of the Chicago Cubs; and hedge fund manager Paul Singer, the report said.

The news is likely to revive the debate over the value of basic funding from individuals, touted by candidates like unsuccessful Democratic candidate, Senator Bernie Sanders, who said the average single contribution to his campaign was $ 27.

In his years in office, Trump has often been accused of rewarding large donors with jobs and access.

But despite Biden’s campaign trumpeting the value of small donors, The New York Times reported in October last year that Democrats have raised nearly $ 200 million in the previous six months from donors who have given over $ 100,000.

Tyson Brody, a former researcher of Mr. Sanders, told al Times: “Joe Biden says this is Scranton vs. Park Avenue, but then he’s raising hundreds of millions of dollars from Park Avenue guys.”

The news will revive the “corruption” debate of allowing “mega donors” so much political influence. Advocates for curbing that influence include the US representative. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) pictured during a press conference to announce that FEMA will help pay for the funeral and burial of COVID-affected families in the Queens borough of New York in April this year.

(REUTERS)

In October last year, US Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was one of several politicians who signed an open letter warning Biden ahead of the election not to name corporate lobbyists who had donated to his campaign for important positions if he had won, after campaigning against “corruption” in the Trump administration.

In the letter they wrote: “Imagine explaining to the American people why those names, with those affiliations, are unacceptable, but similar names with similar affiliations are not only flawless, but necessary for the proper functioning of the federal government. The revolving door has to stop, not just change direction every few years. “

At the time TJ Ducklo, a spokesman for Biden, in response to questions about major donors said, “Joe Biden is running against the most corrupt and dishonest president in our history and he has done so by maintaining a standard of transparency and integrity that is very high above how his opponent has behaved in this campaign “.