- Views & Opinions
Big-dollar donors helped inject hundreds of millions into the 2014 midterm federal elections. A look at some of the biggest donors of the election cycle:
– Tom Steyer, a retired San Francisco hedge fund billionaire who sought to make climate change an issue in 2014 via his group, NextGen Climate Action. He gave a total of almost $74 million to his super PAC and others.
– Michael Bloomberg, a former Republican-turned-independent who served three terms as mayor of New York City before returning to the media company that carries his name. Bloomberg gave at least $20 million.
– Fred Eychaner, founder of Chicago-based alternative-newspaper publisher Newsweb Corp. and a major fundraiser for Democrats. Eychaner gave almost $8 million this cycle to help liberal groups that report their fundraising.
– George Soros, a liberal billionaire investor and long-time Democratic patron who is among Republicans’ favorite subjects for criticism. Soros gave less than $4 million to help Democrats.
– James and Marilyn Simons, a New York-based couple who have given away large parts of their billion-dollar fortune. James Simons is founder and chairman of investment firm Renaissance Technologies and Marilyn Simons is an economist who chairs the family’s science foundation. They gave Democrats more than $3 million this cycle.
– Paul Singer, a New York hedge fund billionaire who is among the most reliable donors to establishment-minded Republicans. Singer gave more than $9 million this cycle to outside groups that disclose their donors.
– Robert Mercer, another Renaissance Technologies executive and a leader whom James Simons recruited from IBM to join the investment firm. Mercer is a frequent donor to outside groups and gave more than $8 million.
– Joe Ricketts, the founder and top executive of Omaha, Nebraska-based TD Ameritrade and driving force behind the non-profit Ending Spending Fund and its affiliated super PAC, Ending Spending Action Fund. Ricketts gave almost $7 million to outside groups that disclose their donors.
– Sheldon Adelson, owner of the Las Vegas Sands casinos and the biggest patron of Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential bid. Along with his physician wife Miriam Adelson, the casino giant with an estimated self-worth of $29 billion gave $5 million to political groups this campaign.
– Richard Uihlein, the founder of Wisconsin packing-material giant Uline and a supporter of outside groups that are among the GOP’s most conservative. Uihlein gave more than $4 million.
Source: A Center for Responsive Politics review of Federal Election Commission reports filed through Nov. 16.