Wealthy Individuals and Families Financed State GOP Groups, New Filings Reveal

New IRS filings reveal that billionaires including Steven Cohen, Sheldon Adelson, Joseph Craft and the wealthy DeVos family backed state level Republican 527 groups with millions of dollars  in the month leading up to and the weeks following the 2018 election.

As 527 political organizations, Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC), Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) and Republican Governors Association (RGA) can raise unlimited funds from individuals and corporations. However, the groups must file periodic 8872 reports, shedding light into which corporations and wealthy individuals are funding these organizations.

Below are some highlights from the latest RGA, RAGA and RSLC filings, covering the period of 10/01/2018 through 11/26/2018:

  • The three organizations received a combined total of $5.5 million from the Las Vegas Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson and his wife Miriam.

  • The right-wing dark money group Judicial Crisis Network, which spent millions on TV ads in favor of Kavanaugh, contributed $1.75 million to RAGA, totaling $3 million in year-to-date aggregate contributions. RSLC also received $1.51 million from the Judicial Confirmation Network, totaling $3.01 million in year-to-date aggregate contributions. Judicial Crisis Network previously went by the name of Judicial Confirmation Network.

  • Hedge fund billionaire Steve Cohen contributed $1 million (year-to-date aggregate: $1,050,000) to RGA.

  • Each of the children of the late billionaire Richard DeVos individually gave $350,000 donations to RGA on October 10. The family members include the U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’ husband Dick, his brothers Daniel and Doug, and his sister Suzanne DeVos.

  • Karen Wright, President and CEO of Ariel Corporation, which manufactures reciprocating gas compressors, and her husband Thomas Rastin gave a combined total of $250,000 to RGA during the most recent period. The filings show that the couple gave $1 million in year-to-date aggregate contributions to RGA.

  • Billionaire Joseph Craft, President and CEO of the coal company Alliance Resource Partners, gave RGA $205,092 during the period, (year-to-date aggregate: $705,092)

  • Fossil fuel companies made up a large portion of RAGA’s contributors, including: Koch Industries ($250,000, $550,000 year-to-date), Noble Energy ($500,000, $1,000,000 year-to-date) and Anadarko Petroleum ($500,000).

  • Utilities supported all three organizations during the period, including FirstEnergy ($500,000 to RGA) NextEra Energy ($400,255 to RAGA), DTE Energy ($50,000 to RGA), Alliant Energy ($30,000 to RSLC and $40,000 to RGA), American Electric Power ($10,000 to RLSC), Dominion Energy ($40,000 to RSLC, $25,000 to RGA) and the Salt River Project ($15,450 to RGA).

See below to view the full RGA, RAGA and RSLC 8872 form filings:

RGA Form 8872

RAGA Form 8872

RSLC Form 8872

 

Photograph by MittenStatePhototog. Used under creative commons license.

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