OpenSecrets executive director said ‘spending is rising across the board
Many billionaires and wealthy officials have invested heavily in the 2022 midterm election, giving both Republican and Democratic candidates and the PAC tens of millions of dollars.
Big money donors, many of whom have built their wealth in the technology and financial sectors, have fueled a record-setting avalanche of donations to political campaigns. Overall, the 2022 federal election is expected to cost $9.3 billion, breaking the previous inflation-adjusted record of $7.1 billion set in 2018, according to a conservative estimate from the site OpenSecrets, which provides political spending data. analyzes.
“We’re seeing a lot more money, more candidates, and more political division than we were in 2018,” Open Secrets executive director Sheila Krumholz said in September. “Spending is rising across the board in this mid-term cycle, fueling a polarizing vortex that shows no signs of slowing down.”
Big spenders accounted for an estimated 43% of all political contributions during the 2021-2022 cycle, compared to 20% raised from small dollar donors, the next largest category. PAC has provided 8% of the funds raised.
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The biggest contributor to the current cycle has been George Soros, a generous billionaire benevolent benefactor who amassed his fortune in the financial sector and presides over his investment firm Soros Fund Management. Soros has funneled more than $128 million in particular to Democratic candidates and left-wing organizations since the cycle began.
According to Federal Election Commission (FEC) data, most of the money came in a single contribution of $125 million in September 2021 to the Democracy PAC, a generous super PAC he created in 2019. Super PACs are linked to Democratic Party PACs and PACs that are associated with various left-wing causes such as racial justice and abortion.
FEC records showed Soros most recently donated to Democratic candidates in swing state races such as Senators Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., and Mark Kelly, D-Ariz., Cheri Beasley in North Carolina and Mandela Barnes, who is running to oust GOP Sen. Ron Johnson in Wisconsin. Soros has also given millions of dollars directly to the Democratic National Committee and state Democratic parties.
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In addition to Soros, Reid Hoffman, who co-founded LinkedIn and is a partner at Greylock Partners; Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, billionaire investor Sam Bankman-Fried, who founded the cryptocurrency exchange FTX; Tom Steyer, founder of the hedge fund Farallon Capital Management and the 2020 Democratic presidential nominee; Fred Eichner, founder of the media company Newsweb Corporation; And Stephen Mandel, founder of hedge fund Lone Pine Capital, has infused Left-wing campaigns with cash.
Steve Ballmer, former CEO of Microsoft, and Michael Bloomberg, former New York City mayor and founder of Bloomberg, who ran for president as a Democrat in 2020, have donated more than $5 million to each Democrat exclusively. Have given.
On the Republican side, billionaires Kenneth Griffin, founder of mass-market maker firm Citadel Securities, and Richard Uhlein, founder of shipping and trade supply company Uline, have forked over tens of millions of dollars to conservative campaigns and organizations.
According to FEC records, Griffin has invested approximately $57.6 million in Republican political causes during the 2021-2022 cycle. His biggest contribution has come to the Congressional Leadership Fund (CLF), a super PAC aimed at electing Republicans to the House. He has given $25 million to CLF since 2021.
Griffin has also donated to GOP groups the Senate Leadership Fund, the Rick Scott Victory Fund, and the National Republican Senate Committee. He has given individual Republican candidates, including Sen. Johnson, Sen. Tim Scott, R.C., Herschel Walker, who is running for Senate in Georgia, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
And Uihlein and his wife, with whom he co-founded Uline in 1980, have pushed a further $57.1 million to Republican candidates and PACs during the current cycle, FEC records showed.
Also, Nike CEO Phil Knight; Peter Thiel of Thiel Capital; Jeff Yas, Managing Director of Susquehanna International Group; Steve Wynn of Wynn Resorts and Valmore Management; Stephen Schwarzman, CEO of investment firm Blackstone Group; And Paul Singer, president of Elliott Investment Management, has contributed millions of dollars of his own cash to help pick Republican candidates across the country.
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While Knight hasn’t been a major Republican donor in past elections, he gave $1 million Oregon Republican Candidate Christine Drazan Last month, Willamette Week reported. The billionaire businessman had previously endorsed independent candidate Betsy Johnson, but moved to Drazon because he is more likely to defeat Democratic nominee Tina Kotek, a left-wing former state representative.
According to The New York Times, Knight recently told reporters, “A political cartoon after our legislative session featured a man snatching cocaine from a white mountain.” “It said, ‘Which of these is illegal in Oregon?’ And the answer was a plastic straw.”
Thiel has donated $30.7 million to Republican candidates and groups, most of which have landed with the PAC with the support of Senate candidates Blake Masters of Arizona and JD Vance of Ohio.
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