Business people flood the political system with millions of dollars in donations. In essence, some say, these high-dollar donors are trying to buy democracy.
The nonprofit organization OpenSecrets recently released a list of the top political donors, “Top Individual Contributors to Outside Money Organizations, 2021 – 2022,” and at the top of the list is Democrat donor George Soros.
OpenSecrets tracks data on campaign finance and lobbying. It was created from a merger of the Center for Responsive Politics and the National Institute on Money in Politics.
The top 100 individual donors to super PACs, along with their spouses, made up just 0.15 percent of all individual donors to super PACs in 2022 but 73.83 percent of the money they received, OpenSecrets reported.
Soros, head of the Soros Fund Management, donated a whopping $126.8 million to liberal groups. A Hungarian-American businessman and philanthropist, he had a net worth of $8.6 billion in 2021. In all, he has donated more than $32 billion to the Open Society Foundations, of which $15 billion has already been distributed, representing 64 percent of his original fortune, OpenSecrets reported.
Open Society Foundations is a grantmaking network founded and chaired by Soros. Open Society Foundations financially supports civil society groups around the world, with a stated aim of advancing justice, education, public health and independent media
Soros’s Soros Fund Management, LLC, is a private American investment management firm. It is currently structured as a family office but formerly as a hedge fund.
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During the critical midterms Soros seeded a super PAC with $125 million to aid Democratic groups and candidates for the 2022 election cycle and beyond. The group, Democracy PAC, has been Soros’ campaign spending vehicle since 2019, giving more than $80 million to other Democratic groups and candidates during the 2020 election cycle, Politico reported.
Billionaires Richard Ellis Uihlein and his wife, Elizabeth Uihlein, are founders of Uline, and conservative donors. Richard is also an heir to the Schlitz brewing fortune.
Founded in 1980, Uline offers shipping and other business supplies and has more than 7,000 employees. The Uihleins have donated heavily to right-wing causes, giving about $77. 4 million to conservative candidates.
Meanwhile, hedge fund manager and investor Ken Griffin is the founder, chief executive officer, co-chief investment officer, and 80 percent owner of Citadel LLC, a multinational hedge fund. He also owns Citadel Securities, one of the largest market makers in the U.S.
Citadel LLC was founded in 1990 by Griffin and has more than $50 billion in assets under management as of May 2022.
Griffin has donated $67 million to conservative candidates.
Options trader Jeffrey S. Yass, co-founder and managing director of the Philadelphia-based Susquehanna International Group, is a major donor to conservative candidates. Susquehanna International Group, LLP is a privately held trading and technology firm. He’s dropped $44 million into GOP campaigns.
Timothy Mellon is the chairman and majority owner of Pan Am Systems, a transportation holding company. The grandson of multi-millionaire banker and philanthropist Andrew W. Mellon and an heir to the Mellon banking fortune. Mellon was a major donor to Donald Trump’s first presidential run. In all, Mellon has poured $40 million into Republican campaigns.
Republican donors outweighed donors to Democrats in the top five where only 1 (Soros) gave to Liberals.
Interesting, now-bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried was a mega-donor to the Democrats, giving $35.9 million to their campaigns. He did drop a paltry $155,000 to conservatives.
Out of the top ten mega political donors, just three were those who favored the Democrats.
George Soros, Founder and Chairman of the Open Society Foundations, attends the Joseph A. Schumpeter award ceremony in Vienna, Austria, June 21, 2019. A sleepy race for district attorney in Maine has been jolted by money from the Democratic billionaire donor. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak, File)