The 16 Richest Super PACs
In the new age of campaigning and politics, super PACs reign supreme. With these clever little financing loopholes, candidates can raise unlimited amounts of money to spend on advertisements, travel, and those annoying polling calls you get during dinner asking who you’re planning to vote for.
The tricky thing about super PACs is that they do not have to disclose their funding sources. This way, the rich can donate to their favorite candidate but you won’t necessarily be able to find out who’s buying which candidate’s loyalty. Fortunately, some super PACs willingly disclose that information. Here you’ll find a list of the 16 richest super PACs and what their political ambitions are:
Freedom Partners Action Fund
Founder(s): David and Charles Koch
Money Raised in 2015: Unclear. $3.8 Million “cash on hand”
Who Does It Fund: Conservative Candidates, currently: Ted Cruz
The Koch brothers, apparently feeling like dominating the private sector wasn’t enough, started their own super PAC to influence the public sector more directly. While the current amount donated to Freedom Partners Action Fund is unclear, we do know that they contributed $15 million to Ted Cruz’s campaign.
This contribution came shortly after the Koch brothers threw a lavish party in August that was widely regarded as a sort of “audition” party where Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, and Scott Walker all competed to win the backing of the super PAC. Ted Cruz apparently gave the best audition considering the large contribution he just received.
American Bridge 21st Century
Founder(s): David Brock
Money Raised in 2015: $6.3 Million
Who Does It Fund: Democratic Candidates
David Brock is a wealthy conservative turned liberal who’s using his super PAC to bring in more for the democrats. His super PAC’s main strategy is launching a strong offensive against republicans via cheesy puns like “Trump: the Burr-fect candidate”—yeah, we don’t really know either—or “Back to the Bushes,” you know, as in Back to the Future except probably without the Delorean.
A large part of the super PAC’s efforts go toward scouring the media for every little slip up and mistake a GOP party member makes and then blasting that mistake across every channel it has access to so that nothing the GOP does goes unnoticed. I’d hate to be the guy who’s watching CSPAN footage 24/7 to find those slip ups.
Founder(s): Karl Rove
Money Raised in 2015: $780,000
Who Does It Fund: Conservative Candidates
Karl Rove and his super PAC, American Crossroads, share a similar shadowy history—like founder, like super PAC, as they say. In 2012, it was at its peak with $300 million in donations. After the IRS decided to do a review and examine its financial records, however, the super PAC quickly declined in popularity among those wealthy donors who prefer to deal in “dark money.”
Rove himself was under review by the House Judiciary Committee for conspiring to get rid of 7 US attorneys in order to protect certain fellow conservatives from being investigated. He attempted to avoid the charges for 2 years, but by 2009, he was compelled to appear in court and it was found that he played a major role in the plot. He’s now taken his expertise on undercover dealings to the world of campaign finance.