Casino Mogul and Major Super PAC Donor Sheldon Adelson
Last January, a study found that seventeen of the top twenty political donors are Republicans or conservatives
. Last night, USA Today published a similar roundup of Super PAC donors in the 2012 cycle, and they found exactly the same pattern. Eight of the top ten Super PAC donors are Republicans or corporations who donate exclusively to Republicans
. One is the Cooperative of American Physicians
, a group of physicians focused on mitigating the cost of malpractice liability that supports a single Democrat
. The other non-Republican group is a teachers union.
Notably, the top three Super PAC donors are all Republicans, and their more than $45 million in contributions adds up to more than four times the total spending by the remainder of the top ten:
These totals may also understate the total amount of spending by these wealthy right-wing benefactors because donors can keep their identities secret by funneling their money into non-profit arms of political organizations. Sixty-two percent of the $123 million raised by Karl Rove’s “Crossroads” political empire in 2010 and 2011, for example, came from secret donors.