GOP Fat Cats Spending Big on Midterm Elections

10 of the most active conservative contributors have donated $19 million to Republican candidates.


BY Aliyah Shahid

Gearing up for the November midterm elections, some of the wealthiest GOP powerhouses have their wallets out and are ready to spend. Big time.

In fact, since President Obama came into office, 10 of the most active conservative contributors have donated a whopping $19 million to Republican candidates and their political action committees, according to Politico.

[See who donates to your member of Congress.]

The fourth-highest spender on that list was the Koch family. David Koch, a leading Manhattan philanthropist (and reputed Tea Party bankroller) made headlines this past week when he ousted Mayor Mike Bloomberg as New York's richest man.

Koch and his brother, Charles, were ranked fifth on the Forbes 400 list of wealthiest Americans with a combined fortune of $21.5 billion.

The Kochs donated $2 million to conservatives.

Bob Perry, a Texas homebuilder and historically a major contributor, donated the most at $2.9 million. Investor Harold Simmons was not far behind with $2.7 million. Trevor Rees-Jones, founder of Chief Oil and Gas, came in at $2.3 million.

Perry and Simmons were among the highest contributors of the Swift Boat attacks on Democrat John Kerry, which helped reelect Bush in 2004. [See which industries donate the most money to Kerry.]

The cash flow wasn't always so plentiful.

According to the political website, the GOP's biggest donors started to decrease their donations toward the end of George W. Bush's presidency and John McCain and Sarah Palin's failed campaign in 2008.

But with the 2010 midterm elections right around the corner—and the chances of Republicans gaining seats in both the House and Senate looking good, wealthy conservatives appear to be opening their checkbooks.

But it's not all bad news for Democrats.

According to the Washington Post, the three national Democratic campaign committees outraised their Republican counterparts in August.

The largest gap was between the Democratic National Committee, which raised $10.9 million last month, and the Republican National Committee which garnered $7.9 million.

Other notable donors on Politico's list of big conservative contributors included former Univision chairman Jerry Perenchio ($1.8 million), the DeVos family ($1.6 million) and founder of Public Storage, B. Wayne Hughes ($1.6 million).