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businessinsider - 23 days ago

Meet the top 10 ultra-wealthy Americans funding the 2020 presidential elections so far

Approximately 100 of the United States 705 billionaires have donated to candidates seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, an analysis of the Federal Election Commission database by Forbes found. The list of donors is remarkably similar to Business Insider s list of the largest political donors of 2018, suggesting that America s biggest donors are a static group of individuals. California Senator Kamala Harris seems to be billionaires favorite liberal candidate, as 46 of them have donated to her campaign in 2019 thus far, according to Forbes. Visit Business Insider s homepage for more stories. Billionaires aren t just running for president in 2019, they re funding others campaigns, too. Approximately 100 billionaires have donated to candidates seeking the Democratic nomination alone, an analysis of the Federal Election Commission database by Forbes found. Research firm Wealth-X reported that there are 7o5 billionaires in the US in its 2019 Billionaire Census. California Senator Kamala Harris seems to be billionaires favorite liberal candidate: 46 of them have donated to her campaign in 2019 thus far, according to Forbes. The donors did not just give directly to campaigns, however. In addition to campaign donations, called hard money, many donors gave even more in the form of soft money, or donations given to groups like super PACs, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. This list of donors is remarkably similar to Business Insider s list of the largest political donors of 2018, suggesting that America s biggest donors are a static group of individuals. Business Insider ranked the 10 largest donors of the presidential primaries as of August 2019, using data from the Center for Responsive Politics. We also included a look at which presidential candidates the donors money has gone to, or who they have publicly said they intend their donations to benefit. Federal candidates, parties, and groups are all recipients of these donations, and, unless specified, they are not official endorsements. The donors are listed by the value of their donations in ascending order. Keep reading to learn more about the 10 most prolific donors of the 2020 election thus far.SEE ALSO: Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders have both proposed taxes on the ultra-wealthy. Here s how much poorer America s 10 wealthiest billionaires would be under a moderate wealth tax. DON T MISS: Bill Gates is once again the richest person in the world. Here s how he spends his $110 billion fortune, from a luxury-car collection to incredible real estate. 10. Investor George Marcus and his wife Judith have given over $2.5 million to Democratic groups. Party: Democrat Presidential Candidate: Unknown Total donations: $2,511,110 Soft money donations: $2,000,000 Hard money donations: $511,100 Net worth: $1.5 billion George Marcus is the founder of real-estate brokerage Marcus Millichap Company, according to the company s website. Marcus is also the chairman of Essex Property Trust, a multi-family real-estate investment trust, and he serves on the board of California-based commercial bank Greater Bay Bancorp. The couple donated $9,610,125 in 2018 mostly to Democrats, Business Insider previously reported. The Marcuses gave $10,400 to Republicans in 2018, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

9. Florida-based philanthropists Henry and Marsha Laufer have donated nearly $3 million in 2019, including $250,000 to a PAC that supports Democratic candidates. Party: Democrat Presidential Candidate: Unknown Total donations: $2,804,850 Soft money donations: $2,250,000 Hard money donations: $554,850 Net worth: $2.1 billion Henry Laufer, 74, is the former chief scientist at hedge fund Renaissance Technologies, Forbes reported. The Laufers were among the top donors to Hillary Clinton s Super PAC in 2016, having given $2 million, according to Forbes. The couple also hosted a fundraiser for Clinton at their Manalapan, Florida home, where tickets cost as much as $33,400, according to Forbes.

8. California-based psychiatrist Karla Jurvetson has donated $12 million to Democrats. Party: Democrat Presidential Candidate: Unknown Total donations: $2,807,270 Soft money donations: $2,015,482 Hard money donations: $791,788 Net worth: Less than $1 billion, a representative for Jurvetson told Business Insider Karla Jurvetson is the ex-wife of venture capitalist Steve Jurvetson, according to The Guardian. Jurvetson donated $12 million to Democrats in 2018, Business Insider previously reported. Her largest donation in 2018, $5.4 million, was to a Super PAC aimed at elected pro-choice female candidates run by Emily s List, The Guardian reported.

7. Billionaire hedge-fund manager and vocal Trump supporter Paul Singer has donated over $3 million to Republican groups. Party: Republican Presidential Candidate: Unknown Total donations: $3,370,227 Soft money donations: $2,718,227 Hard money donations: $652,000 Net worth: $3.5 billion Singer is the founder of investment firm Elliott Management, according to his biography on the firm s website, but he is better known for his advocacy for conservative causes, Forbes reports. Once a major critic of President Trump, Singer has since met with him at the White House. Singer does break with the president on one important issue, however Singer is an advocate for LGBTQ+ rights. The majority of Singer s 2019 donations have gone to a variety of Republican congresspeople including John Cornyn, Mitch McConnell, and Ben Sasse, FEC data shows. Singer also donated over $6.4 million to Republican groups in 2018, Business Insider previously reported.

6. Deborah Simon, heiress to the fortune of shopping mall developer Simon Property Group, has donated more than $3 million to Democrats. Party: Democrat Presidential Candidate: Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, Joe Biden (FEC data) Total donations: $3,605,103 Soft money donations: $2,487,500 Hard money donations: $1,117,603 Net worth: Unknown Deborah Simon is the daughter of Indiana shopping mall developer Melvin Simon. Simon inherited a portion of her father s fortune after a bitter legal battle over his estate with her stepmother Bren Simon, according to Forbes. Simon s family had a net worth of $6.8 billion in 2014, according to Forbes. Simon donated $9.7 million to Democrats in 2018, Business Insider previously reported. In 2019, she gave $5,500 to Pete Buttigieg, $1,350 to Amy Klobuchar, and $1,500 to Joe Biden in addition to numerous gifts to congressional campaigns and other Democratic groups, FEC data shows.

5. Billionaire Home Depot founder Bernie Marcus and his wife Billi gave more money directly to candidates and campaigns than any other Americans. Party: Republican Presidential Candidate: Donald Trump Total donations: $4,605,775 Soft money donations: $2,750,000 Hard money donations: $1,855,755 Net worth: $6.5 billion Bernie Marcus cofounded Home Depot in 1978 with Arthur Blank after they were fired from their jobs at another hardware store, according to Forbes. Marcus was the company s first CEO and retired in 2002. Marcus was a major contributor to President Trump s 2016 presidential bid and plans to financially support the President again in 2020, Business Insider previously reported. Marcus 2019 donations benefited a variety of Republican groups, including $2,000,000 to the Senate Leadership Fund, FEC data shows.

4. While George Soros stopped short of endorsing a presidential candidate, he did give thousands to the several state chapters of the Democratic party. Party: Democrat Presidential Candidate: Soros told the NY Times in October that he will support the eventual Democratic nominee. Total donations: $6,304,000 Soft money donations: $6,285,000 Hard money donations: $19,000 Net worth: $8.3 billion Soros built his fortune leading Quantum Fund, once the world s largest hedge fund. Since retiring from money managing in 2011, Soros has turned his attention to philanthropy. He started donating to campaigns in 2003 because of his dissatisfaction with the war in Iraq, Business Insider previously reported. Soros has also found himself at the center of numerous conspiracy theories about his involvement in governments from the United States to Hungary to Russia, many of which are anti-Semitic and have never been supported by evidence. Soros donated over $20 million to Democrats in 2018, Business Insider previously reported. The former financier s donations in 2019 have been to numerous Democratic groups, including the North Dakota, Michigan, Iowa, North Dakota, Hawaii, and Oklahoma Democratic Parties, FEC data shows.

3. Billionaire presidential candidate Tom Steyer spent millions on TV and digital ads for his own campaign. Party: Democrat Presidential Candidate: Tom Steyer Total donations: $6,739,799 Soft money donations: $6,555,474 Hard money donations: $184,325 Net worth: $1.6 billion Steyer built his fortune as the director of hedge fund Farallon Capital, Business Insider previously reported. Steyer has spent over $46 million on his campaign since announcing his bid for the presidency in July, a sum that accounts for 95% of the money raised by his campaign in the third quarter. Steyer also donated to the reelection campaigns of several House Democrats, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

2. Shipping supplies billionaires Richard Elizabeth Uihlein gave nearly $7 million to Republican groups, including $1 million to a super PAC supporting President Trump. Party: Republican Presidential Candidate: Donald Trump Total donations: $6,920,917 Soft money donations: $5,750,000 Hard money donations: $1,170,917 Net worth: Unknown The Uihleins are the most powerful conservative couple you ve never heard of, The New York Times Stephanie Saul and Danny Hakim wrote in 2018. The couple, who built their fortune running privately held shipping supplies company Uline, spent $26 million supporting various Republican groups during the 2018 midterm election cycle, according to The Times. The couple s donations topped $40 million during the 2018 midterm elections, but they did not donate directly to the president until this year, The Center for Responsive Politics found.

1. Hedge fund manager Donald Sussman focused his 2019 donations on congressional democrats but gave $5,600 to Sen. Cory Booker. Party: Democrat Candidate: Cory Booker Total donations: $7,555,400 Soft money donations: $6,050,000 Hard money donations: $1,505,400 Net worth: Unknown Donald Sussman is the founder of Paloma Partners. The Fort Lauderdale-based hedge fund manager donated over $27 million to Democrats in 2018, making him the fifth-largest individual donor in the United States, Business Insider previously reported. Sussman was also the top donor to Hillary Clinton s 2016 presidential campaign, giving $21.6 million, according to The Guardian.




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