Moguls, Corporations, and Dark Money (Oh My!): See Who’s Supporting Leonard Lance
Last Thursday Republican Speaker Paul Ryan’s Super PAC, the Congressional Leadership Fund (CLF), dropped over half a million dollars on television advertising against Tom Malinowski to save the seat of enfeebled Republican incumbent Leonard Lance. Lance, down in the polls, and lacking the fundraising support from individual donors to mount his own attack, must rely on the charity of dark money extremists to keep him in Congress.
Among CLF's contributors (via OpenSecrets):
Republican superdonor Sheldon Adelson, who contributed $30 million to CLF. Adelson switched from being a Democrat to regularly donating millions of dollars to Republicans after clashing with labor unions.
Timothy Mellon sent in $10 million. Mellon had previously championed causes like Arizona SB1070, which codified racial profiling by law enforcement.
Over $20 million from the American Action Network, a nonprofit associated with Paul Ryan that brought in over half of its fundraising totals from a single anonymous donation of $24.6 million. American Action Network has also independently spent on this election, sending mailers that claimed the opioid crisis in this country was over thanks to Leonard Lance’s efforts – despite close to 2,000 opioid related deaths in New Jersey this year alone. There is currently a lawsuit against AAN for registering as a social welfare organization to shield its donors, despite operating like a Political Action Committee.
Over $3 million from oil companies Chevron, Valero, and Occidental Petroleum – three groups that have continuously lobbied against reasonable environmental protection measures and efforts to combat climate change.
Paul Foster, chair of Western Refining, donated $1 million. Foster has a history of donating to the Koch brothers’ anti-environmental agenda.
Steven Cohen donated $1 million – Cohen was implicated of insider trading in 2012, and his firm had to pay a $1.8 billion settlement. As part of his settlement, Cohen was prohibited from handling outside money until this year.
Robert McNair donated $1 million. McNair is also one of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s largest donors.
“This list is a veritable ‘who's who’ of dark money interests and corporate raiders. Make no mistake: these are the people that want to keep Lance in Congress. He’s a typical politician happy to take their money then gut our healthcare and roll back gun safety laws – a nine-year incumbent who lacks the influence to keep his own party from steamrolling over New Jersey taxpayers,” said Malinowski Campaign Manager Colston Reid. “All qualities these extremists are looking for in a lackey. They know that as long as Lance is in office there is money to be made.”