You may love the NRA or you may hate the NRA. Very few people now days are indifferent on the NRA. However, you have to admire the fact that when they decide to participate in an election they go all out. We researched where the NRA was spending it money over the last year and initially were pretty confused. The top three “beneficiary committee names” were all Democrat and all running in the same State. Northam For Governor, Virginians for Mark Herring and Friends of Justin Fairfax.
ActBlue took in $17 million from California, $12 million from New York and $6 million from Massachusetts. Plus another $46 million from the rest of the States this year. These donations were then distributed across the Country by ActBlue. In Missouri, McCaskill for Senate received $1.4 million from ActBlue. Pennsylvania benefited twice. Lamb for Congress picked up $2.5 million and Bob Casey for Senate also picked up $680 thousand. Wisconsin also benefited from ActBlue’s genericity.
With the California primary election all over the news, we thought we would look to see who is dominating the donations. Of course our recent piece on Super PACs shows that candidates do not need to actually receive the money to benefit from a donation. For the Republicans running for the California Senate seat, for their sake I hope that is the case because they have not raised a lot of money. We could not find most of the Republican candidates in the FEC database.
What makes a Super PAC special? Unlike candidates, Super PACs can receive unlimited donations but they are not allowed to coordinate activities with any candidate or campaign. So basically they can take in as much money as humanly possible but they cannot work with the candidate. It is the second part of this that we feel is totally stupid. Were the people at the Great America PAC sitting around thinking “I wish we could ask Donald how we can help him”?
At a 3 to 1 ratio, campaigns prefer alcohol to pizza. Since last September campaigns have spent $133K on pizza and $400K at Bars, Pubs and Wine establishments. We went through all the expenditures since last September and screened for pizza joints and places with either “Bar”, “Pub” or “Wine” in the name. While I am sure that not all the $400K was spent on alcohol, you do not put “Bar” in your restaurant’s name because you want to attract more kids.
Beware of candidates claiming they are Green, because most likely they are not. Over the last 6 months, political candidates have spent more than $15 million on printing. That equates to about 170 acres of trees. But that is not all, trees do not magically transform into paper. It takes a lot of water, about 20 million gallons and a lot of oil, about 49 thousand barrels. Also do not forget all the electricity needed.
Only 73 companies in the S&P500 Index earned more than the total amount of federal political contributions in 2017 and it was not even an election year. In 2017 Federal contributions exceeded $3.3 billion dollars. Let’s put this into perspective. Amazon sells over 480 million products on its website and only made $3bn in 2017. Starbucks claims to sell on average 8 million cups of coffee a day globally and its profit in 2017 was only $2.9bn.
We can all pretty much assume that Planned Parenthood and its affiliates do not like Donald Trump. So who do they like and more specifically who do they like to financially support. We looked back over the last 5 years to highlight who has received the most money and who has the highest donation frequency. UNITED WE CAN tops the list with $1 million in donations. We visited their webpage and they are definitely not a friend of Trump. The Senate Majority PAC received $400K and Nextgen Climate Action Committee picked up $322K from Planned Parenthood.
We all know that Billionaire George Soros is very active and a big democratic donor. It is always fun to see where he is giving his money. We looked back to the beginning of this year and found a number of different PACs he is supporting. My question how does he decide on the amounts he donates. Let’s put this into perspective. George Soros has an estimated net worth of $8 billion, this is compared to the median middle-class net worth of $44,900.
Mitt Romney wants to be the next Utah Senator. However, people in Utah are not really supporting him, at least not financially. 86% of Mitt’s donations have come from out-of-state donors and a good portion are coming from Massachusetts, California and New York. There are also some big names giving him money. Both former President Bush and former Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson are backing Romney.