Meet The Mega Donors In The 2024 Election
The 2024 presidential election cycle is predicted to be the most expensive in U.S. history.
Former President Donald Trump holds a comfortable lead in total contribution receipts with $56.7 million, according to data from the Federal Election Commission (FEC) in the first week of November.
President Joe Biden, seeking a second term in the White House, placed second, with $44.7 million.
President Trump’s Republican rival, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, placed third, with $31.6 million.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who switched from the Democratic ticket to run as an independent, placed fourth with $15.1 million.
With a 56 percent disapproval rating in the most recent Reuters/Ipsos poll, a victory in 2024 will be challenging for the current president. Here are some of his major donors.
Laurene Powell Jobs
Laurene Powell Jobs is the widow of tech entrepreneur Steve Jobs. On July 7, 2022, Ms. Powell Jobs accepted a Medal of Freedom from President Biden on behalf of her husband.
President Joe Biden presents businesswoman Laurene Powell Jobs with the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her late husband Steve Jobs, in the White House in Washington on July 7, 2022. (SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)
She is also a trustee of the Ford Foundation and the founder and president of Emerson Collective—a philanthropic organization helping people “from all communities” to “achieve their full potential.” The organization is the majority owner of The Atlantic magazine. She is also board chair of College Track, a nonprofit she founded in 1997 that helps students from underserved communities achieve their education goals.
Ms. Powell Jobs is the co-founder and board chair of the XQ Institute, “dedicated to rethinking the high school experience so that every student graduates ready to succeed in life.”
According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, her net worth sits at about $10.3 billion.
FEC records show that Ms. Powell Jobs contributed $929,000 to the Biden Victory Fund as well as two contributions of $3,300 to the Biden for President PAC on Sept. 20.
Casey Wasserman is the founder, CEO, and chairman of Wasserman, a sports marketing and talent management firm. He is also chairman of LA28, the organizing committee for the 2028 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, and president and CEO of the Wasserman Foundation, which supports education, service, health, arts, and culture, as well as global initiatives.
Casey Wasserman, chair of the Wasserman Media Group, walks to lunch at the Sun Valley Conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, on July 13, 2023. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)
As reported by Inside The Games, Mr. Wasserman wrote a letter to the International Olympic Committee in 2020 calling for the organization to ease the restrictions of Rule 50, which says, “No kind of demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda is permitted in any Olympic sites, venues or other areas.”
FEC records show that Mr. Wasserman contributed $929,600 to the Biden Victory Fund as well as two donations of $3,300 to the Biden for President PAC on Sept. 27.
Jeffrey Katzenberg is a Hollywood film and television producer who served as chief executive of the well-known animation studio, DreamWorks, which he co-founded with Steven Spielberg and David Geffen. Prior to founding DreamWorks, Mr. Katzenberg was chairman of Walt Disney Studios, where he oversaw the release of several highly profitable animated features, such as The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, and The Lion King.
Producer Jeffrey Katzenberg speaks to the media at the Sun Valley Conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, on July 7, 2021. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)
His net worth is estimated to be about $900 million.
Mr. Katzenberg also serves as a co-chair of President Biden’s reelection campaign, where he helps with fundraising and provides advice on messaging.
FEC data show that Mr. Katzenberg has been a prolific contributor to Democratic candidates and PACs for decades.
On April 28, he contributed $889,600 to the Biden Victory Fund and two donations of $3,300 to Biden for President.
On April 27, Mr. Katzenberg’s wife, Marilyn, also contributed $889,600 to the Biden Victory Fund.
In May 2023, Mr. Katzenberg told Financial Times that he would pledge “all the resources” President Biden needs to win reelection in 2024.
Polling data collected by RealClearPolitics shows that President Trump is leading President Biden in all but two of the head-to-head matchup surveys released by various polling outlets Nov. 17.
Several billionaires have donated to Make America Great Again Inc., a leading Trump-aligned Super PAC, during the first half of 2023.
According to his profile on Casino.org, Phil Ruffin—an 88-year-old casino and hotel mogul—is one of the most successful, self-made businessmen in Las Vegas. He is the owner of Circus Circus and the Treasure Island Hotel and Casino. He is also a 50 percent stakeholder in the Trump International Hotel Las Vegas, along with the former president.
Chairman and President of the Trump Organization Donald Trump (L) and Phil Ruffin, owner of the New Frontier Hotel and Casino, at a ceremonial groundbreaking for the Trump International Hotel & Tower Las Vegas in Las Vegas on July 12, 2005. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Forbes estimates Mr. Ruffin’s net worth is about $2.7 billion.
FEC data show that Mr. Ruffin made two $1 million contributions—one on April 26 and the other on June 15—to the Make America Great Again PAC. He also made an $11,600 contribution to the Trump Save America Joint Fundraising Committee on May 1, and a $3,300 contribution to Donald J. Trump for President 2024.
Mr. Ruffin is not solely dedicated to Republican candidates. In the past, he donated to support John Kerry’s and former President Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns.
Charles Kushner is the father of Jared Kushner, who is married to President Trump’s daughter, Ivanka.
Charles Kushner (C) wades though the media with his legal team and wife to the U.S. District Courthouse in Newark, N.J., on Aug. 18, 2004. (Chris Hondros/Getty Images)
After his family immigrated to the United States in the aftermath of the Soviet occupation of Poland, Mr. Kushner completed high school and went on to study law at the Hofstra University School of Law. After practicing law for several years, he used his father’s business assets to found Kushner Companies in 1985, which he built into a successful real estate development empire.
In March 2005, The New York Times reported that Mr. Kushner pleaded guilty to tax evasion, witness tampering, and making illegal campaign donations. He was sentenced to two years in federal prison.
On Dec. 23, 2020, President Trump issued a pardon for Mr. Kushner.
FEC records show that Mr. Kushner contributed $1 million to Make America Great Again Inc. on June 5.
The FEC’s data also indicate that between 1987 and 2020, Mr. Kushner’s political contributions were given strictly to Democratic candidates and PACs, including a $1,000 contribution on April 24, 1987, to President Biden’s first presidential endeavor.
In 2016, Forbes estimated the Kushner family’s net worth to be about $1.8 billion.
Robert “Woody” Johnson
Robert “Woody” Johnson is the co-owner of the New York Jets. His wealth is a product of his great-grandfather, Robert Wood Johnson, who founded Johnson & Johnson in 1886. From 2017 to 2021, he served as President Trump’s ambassador to the United Kingdom.
According to Forbes, Mr. Johnson’s net worth is about $3.1 billion.
President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump host a dinner for Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, with U.S. Ambassador to the UK Woody Johnson (L) and his wife Suzanne Ircha (R) in London on June 4, 2019. (Chris Jackson – WPA Pool/Getty Images)
FEC records show that Mr. Johnson contributed $1 million to Make America Great Again Inc. on April 26.
Additional contributions to the PAC in 2022 totaled over $133,000.
In 2020, Reuters reported that Mr. Johnson—who had no previous experience in diplomacy—was investigated by the U.S. State Department’s Office of the Attorney General regarding “offensive or derogatory comments, based on an individual’s race, color, sex, or religion,” which he was alleged to have made during his tenure as ambassador to the United Kingdom.
(TLB) published this article by Patricia Tolson via The Epoch Times as posted at ZH
Header featured image (edited) credit: Hands with money over White House/ Illustration by The Epoch Times, Shutterstock
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