Top Twelve Political Donors Give $1 Out Of Every $13
Just twelve political donors are responsible for $1 out of every $13 in contributions to federal candidates and committees since the 2010 election cycle, according to a watchdog group Issue One, which wants less money in politics.
Together, the donors and their spouses donated $3.4 billion to all federal candidates, according to Bloomberg, citing the nonprofit.
Of the biggest donors, six were aligned with Republicans and six with Democrats. Topping the list were two donors who also self-financed their 2020 Democratic presidential campaigns: former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former hedge fund manager Tom Steyer. In total, Bloomberg gave $1.4 billion in the period and Steyer $653 million. -Bloomberg
The heavy donations began after the 2010 Citizens United Supreme Court ruling allowing for unlimited independent spending to influence elections. The Court ruled that independent spending on elections was protected under the First Amendment – which led to unlimited spending by Super PACs, “setting off an arms race of fundraising by groups seeking to influence elections,” according to the report.
“Our government can’t be responsive to all Americans if our elected officials are beholden to the elite donor class,” said Nick Penniman, the founder and chief executive officer of Issue One.
Big political donors tend to live in just a handful of wealthy zip codes. The top areas for campaign contributions are home to 2.5 million people, less than 1% of the U.S. population, but they accounted for 20% of the $45 million donated to federal candidates and committees. -Bloomberg
Other top Democratic donors include Paloma Partners hedge fund founder Donald Sussman, who gave $98 million, and Renaissance Technologies Founder James Simmons and his wife Marylin, who have donated $96 million.
The top GOP donors have been the late Sheldon Adelson and his wife Miriam, giving $523 million, followed by Uline owners Richard Uihlein and wife Elizabeht, and Citadel’s Ken Griffin.