Top-tier campaign donors poured multiple six- and seven-figure contributions into unrestricted super PACs in the election’s final days, according to the latest reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.
The leading two super PACs backing the presidential candidates alone received almost $40 million from major donors from Oct. 18 to Nov. 26, according to Political MoneyLine. That’s the period covered by post-election reports filed by midnight Thursday. Final reports will come at the end of the year.
Priorities USA Action, the super PAC backing President Barack Obama, collected $15.2 million and spent just less than $21 million during that period, while the Restore Our Future super PAC, which supported GOP nominee Mitt Romney, raised $22.1 million and spent $45.5 million.
The biggest donor by far was casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson, who, with his wife, Miriam, gave $10 million to Restore Our Future and another $23 million to the pro-GOP super PAC American Crossroads. Adelson reportedly met with GOP leaders this week and, according to the Wall Street Journal, is prepared in the next campaign to “double” the more than $100 million he spent in the 2012 elections.
Other large donors to Restore Our Future during the most recent reporting period include Lawrence Ellison, CEO of Oracle Corp., who gave $3 million, and Robert McNair, chairman and CEO of the Houston Texans football team, who donated $1 million, according to Political MoneyLine.
Priorities USA Action’s top donors during that window included investor Henry Laufer, who gave $1.5 million and James Simons, of Renaissance Technologies Corp., who also gave $1.5 million. Other $1.5 million donors to Priorities USA Action included Chicago media mogul Fred Eychaner, of Newsweb Corp.; Texas lawyer Steve Mostyn and financial expert and philanthropist Stephen Robert.
From left, Lisa Peng, daughter of Peng Ming, Grace Ge Geng, daughter of Gao Zhisheng, and Ti-Anna Wang, daughter of Wang Bingzhang, hold pictures of their imprisoned fathers during a House Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations hearing in the Rayburn House Office Building titled “Their Daughters Appeal to Beijing: ‘Let Our Fathers Go!’”
Each year since 1990, CQ Roll Call has reviewed the financial disclosures of all 541 senators, representatives and delegates to determine the 50 richest members of Congress. This year's report, derived from forms covering the calendar year 2012, shows it took a net worth of $6.67 million to crack the exclusive club.