Justice

Just 12 Wealthy Donors Account For Most Of The Donations To Major ‘SuperPACs’

A SuperPAC is a group that allows wealthy people and corporations to pool their money together in order to try to change the result of an election. The seven major SuperPACs have taken in a total of $23.7 million in just the first half of this year — a number that is certain to grow much larger as election day approaches. Yet, as USA Today reports, more than half of this money comes from just twelve rich people or corporations:

A dozen wealthy individuals and corporations — ranging from a Hollywood mogul to Texas billionaires — gave more than half the money flowing to the biggest outside groups raising unlimited amounts to influence next year’s presidential and congressional races, a USA TODAY analysis shows.

Republican-affiliated groups outraised Democratic groups by more than 2-to-1, the review found, demonstrating the willingness of Republican donors to write big checks to deny President Obama a second term. . . . Million-dollar donors to PACs include New York hedge-fund manager John Paulson, who gave to Restore Our Future. Eli Publishing and F8 LLC, two companies that share an address in Provo, Utah, donated $1 million each to the group backing Romney, who has extensive ties to the state. . . .

Supporters of Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who is weighing entering the Republican race, collected $193,000 through a group named Americans for Rick Perry. The top donor: Texas billionaire Harold Simmons, who gave $100,000 on June 27, 10 days after Perry signed legislation allowing Simmons’ company to accept low-level radioactive waste from other states at its West Texas facility.

It’s tough to imagine a surer recipe for corruption. Although SuperPAC’s are prohibited from giving money directly to candidates — one of the few remaining campaign finance laws that wasn’t eviscerated by Citizens United and similar cases — it’s not like a presidential candidate isn’t perfectly capable of finding out which billionaires funded the shadowy groups that supported their campaign. Moreover, if just a handful of people are responsible for the bulk of these donations, a newly elected president will have no problem figuring out who to lavish favors on once they enter the White House.