The 16 Richest Political Backers
Behind every great (or terrible) politician are a few deep-pocketed individuals who are injecting their campaigns and their bank accounts with plenty of cash. If you want to know who a candidate will most benefit, check out the list of people who are funding their campaign to get elected.
While an individual technically can’t donate more than $2,700 to a political campaign, the recent advent of super PACs has made it easy to donate unlimited amounts of money to your favorite candidate. Here are the 16 richest people who are pouring the most money into politics:
Who Is She? Actress
Who Does She Support? Democratic Party
Roseanne—as in the titular character from the ‘90s sitcom, Roseanne—is one of the wealthiest supporters of the Democratic Party. With a net worth of $80 million, she’s a great asset to the party.
At the peak of her fame in the ‘90s, she attempted to run for president as a Green Party candidate but lost. She later ran as the nominee for the Peace and Freedom Party. That year, she placed 6th in the election with a total of 61,971. Before that, though, she got on George HW Bush’s bad side when she sang the Star Spangled Banner at a baseball game and tried to add a little “Roseanne” flavor by grabbing her crotch and spitting afterward—mimicking baseball players.
Bush Sr. accused her of disrespecting our nation’s anthem but more because of how poorly she sang than for the rude gesture at the end. I guess if she was really patriotic, she’d have a better voice.
Who Is He? Co-Founder of Napster (amongst others)
Who Does He Support? Democratic Party
Parker is a strong supporter of the Democrats. His most important issues include increased gun control, higher taxes for the wealthy, campaign finance reform, and finally, as a fantasy lover and gamer, of course marijuana legalization. With over $3 billion to his name, he’s got the financial influence he needs to make that happen.
His wealth didn’t just come from Napster. He was actually already earning $80,000 a year before he even graduated high school as a programmer. If an $80,000 salary sounds impressive for a high school student, remember that this was back in the early ‘90s, so that’s actually the equivalent of nearly $130,000 a year in today’s dollars. It’s got to be a weird feeling when your 17 year old kid earns more money than you.
While other teenagers were getting in trouble for staying out past curfew, Parker was being tracked by the FBI after he had hacked into the networks of Fortune 500 companies. When the FBI finally found him, they were more than shocked to find he was just a 16 year old kid. After high school, his success—and questionable legality—would continue with the founding of Napster, the site that introduced the new wave of illegally downloading copyrighted content. Napster was extremely successful and pushed through multiple lawsuits.
Eventually, he left and became the first president of Facebook—accurately predicting its future success from an early age. While others were still suffering the consequences of the dotcom bubble burst, Parker was making smart investments in the real future of the internet.
Who Is He? Businessman and Philanthropist
Who Does He Support? Democratic Party
Saban achieved his current net worth of $3.4 billion as a media proprietor, investor, and producer. He was also successful with a few financial services businesses. However, most importantly, it’s Haim Saban we can thank for the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers—all the ‘90s kids rejoice!
As a philanthropist, he donates a lot of money to various causes and contributes to democratic campaigns. He’s also pretty close to the Clinton family, in a newspaper interview, he was quoted saying “the President of the United States [Bill Clinton], wearing his boxers, is coming down the stairs, and I am going to have to stop talking and go have breakfast with him.”
If Hillary Clinton wins the election, he’ll have his good friends in the White House once again.