ANALYSIS: The Mega-Donors Behind Joe Biden

President Biden says the majority of his campaign donations came from small donors.

President Joe Biden’s campaign has reported pulling in $155 million for his re-election war chest, calling it the “highest total of any Democratic candidate in history” at this point in a presidential contest. Much of the money comes from big-dollar mega-donors.

President Biden’s record-breaking haul of $53 million last month has been bolstered by the $4 million taken in so far through a first-of-its-kind fundraising “sweepstakes.”

The contest gives supporters an opportunity to win an all-expenses paid trip to an event in New York on March 28 where they could rub elbows with President Biden as well as former Democrat presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton. Suggested contributions start at $25.

While tickets go for as little as $250, high rollers who contribute $100,000 or more can get their photo taken with all three presidents. Those who donate at the $250,000 and $500,000 levels will have access to the Democratic presidential trifecta at two separate receptions.

Cash on hand for President Biden as of Feb. 29 sat at just over $71 million, FEC data shows.

In contrast, the campaign for former President Donald Trump reported that fundraising efforts brought in just a little over $20 million in February.

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Cash on hand as of Feb. 29 for President Trump was just over $38 million. Both candidates locked in their respective party’s nominations during the March 12 Super Tuesday elections.

Current campaign finance law allows individuals to donate up to $3,300 per election to federal presidential and congressional candidates.

The limit for individuals and non-multi-candidate PACs to a national party committee is $41,300. Contributions from individuals and non-multi-candidate PAC contributions to each of the additional national party committee accounts are limited to $123,900 per year.

President Biden says the majority of his campaign donations came from small donors.

“The enthusiasm we’re picking up as we go around the country is real,” President Biden said during a radio interview with WNOV 860 in Wisconsin. “We’ve raised a whole lot of money. We have 1.5 million donors, including 500,000 [who] are brand new, they’re small donors; 97 percent of the donations under $200.”

In the meantime, a large percentage of donors to President Trump have also been below $200, including donations from individuals like Barbara Vanderpool and Diana A, which dip below $1.

A February analysis of FEC data by the New York Times shows that President Trump had over one million more small-dollar donors in 2023 than President Biden. While 668,000 donors contributed less than $200 to President Trump, 564,000 did the same for President Biden.

President Biden’s campaign is also supported by a bench of millionaire and billionaire mega-donors, most of whom are in the tech, media, and entertainment industries.

Laurene Powell Jobs

President Joe Biden presents businesswoman Laurene Powell Jobs with the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her late husband Steve Jobs, in the White House, on July 7, 2022. (Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)
President Joe Biden presents businesswoman Laurene Powell Jobs with the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her late husband Steve Jobs, in the White House, on July 7, 2022. (Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)

One of the top mega-donors to President Biden’s re-election campaign is Laurene Powell Jobs, the widow of tech entrepreneur Steve Jobs.

Ms. Powell Jobs accepted a Presidential Medal of Freedom posthumously on behalf of her deceased husband on July 7, 2022. She is the co-founder and board chair of the XQ Institute, a nonprofit “dedicated to rethinking the high school experience so that every student graduates ready to succeed in life.”

She is also a trustee of the Ford Foundation, the founder and president of the philanthropic foundation called Emerson Collective, and board chair of a nonprofit called College Track that she founded in 1997.

According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, her net worth sits at about $10.3 billion.

Ms. Powell Jobs contributed $929,000 to the Biden Victory Fund on Sept. 20, 2023, as well as two contributions of $3,300 to the Biden for President PAC, FEC data shows.

Cassey Wasserman

Casey Wasserman (R) attends the briefing of the 2024 Olympic Games in Lausanne, Switzerland, on July 11, 2017. (Pierre Albouy/Reuters)
Casey Wasserman (R) attends the briefing of the 2024 Olympic Games in Lausanne, Switzerland, on July 11, 2017. (Pierre Albouy/Reuters)

Casey Wasserman is the founder, CEO, and chairman of Los Angeles-based Wasserman Media Group, a global sports, music, and entertainment marketing and talent management firm.

As the grandson of Lew Wasserman, who was president of Music Corporation of America (MCA) and one of Hollywood’s first kingmakers, Cassey Wasserman learned from the best.

Casey Wasserman is also chairman of LA28, the organizing committee for the 2028 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.

His net worth is estimated to be around $450 million.

Mr. Wasserman contributed $929,600 to the Biden Victory Fund on Sept. 27, 2023, as well as two donations of $3,300 to the Biden for President PAC, FEC records show.

More recently, he co-hosted a fundraiser in Los Angeles on Feb. 20 with the rock band Haim and American psychologist, television writer, and long-time Democrat donor Chery Saban. The event, for which tickets cost $500,000 per person, raised $4.5 million to benefit the Biden Victory Fund, as reported by The Wrap.

He also contributed a total of $25,000 to the Fight Like Hell PAC, launched in 2003 by Michigan’s Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer for the purpose of supporting the re-election campaign of President Biden and Vice President Kamal Harris, “as well as helping Democrats flip the House and hold the Senate.”

Jeffrey Katzenberg

Jeffrey Katzenberg walks to a morning session during the Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, on July 06, 2022. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)
Jeffrey Katzenberg walks to a morning session during the Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, on July 06, 2022. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

Jeffrey Katzenberg is one of President Biden’s biggest Hollywood supporters.

Mr. Katzenberg is a former producer and CEO of DreamWorks Animation, which he sold to Comcast in 2016 for $3.8 billion. He was also chairman of Walt Disney Studios from 1984 to 1994. Mr. Katzenberg currently serves as the co-chair for President Biden’s national presidential campaign.

His net worth is estimated to be about $900 million.

Mr. Katzenberg contributed $889,600 to the Biden Victory Fund on April 28, 2023, and two donations of $3,300 to Biden for President. His wife, Marilyn Katzenberg, also contributed $889,600 to the Biden Victory Fund on April 27, 2023.

He told the Financial Times in May 2023 that he would pledge “all the resources” at his disposal to ensure that President Biden secures a second term in the White House.

Seth MacFarlane

Seth MacFarlane is the creator and star of Family Guy. (Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
Seth MacFarlane is the creator and star of Family Guy. (Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

Another big Hollywood donor is Seth MacFarlane.

Mr. MacFarlane is an award-winning star who makes his living as a comedian, actor, director, producer, animator, voice actor, writer, and singer. He is best known as the creator of Family Guy, American Dad, the Cleveland Show, and The Orville.

He also gained notoriety as the writer and director for the movie Ted. Broadway World reported that the Entertainment Community Fund, a national human services organization that helps provide emergency financial assistance and affordable housing to those struggling in the entertainment community, will be honoring Mr. MacFarlane with the Entertainment Community Fund Medal of Honor on April 8 for his efforts to “enrich the entertainment community.”

Ranked 13th among the 50 wealthiest comedians in the world, Mr. MacFarlane’s net worth is said to be around $300 million.

Mr. Macfarlane has been a prolific donor to the Democratic Party. In 2022, he made 20 contributions of $2,900 each to ActBlue. In 2016, he made a $2,700 contribution to the presidential primary effort of Bernie Sanders, and multiple donations to various PACS in support of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, FEC records show.

Mr. MacFarlane made equal contributions of $3,300 to both the primary and general election efforts through Biden for President on Sept. 22, 2023, as well as a $100,000 contribution to the Biden Victory Fund.

Harry Sloan

Chairman and CEO of MGM Harry Sloan (L), actor Tom Cruise (2nd L), chairperson of MGM Worldwide Motion Picture Group Mary Parent (2nd R), and actress Katie Holmes (R) attend the after party for the New York premiere of "Valkyrie" at The Time Warner Center in New York City, on Dec. 15, 2008. (Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)
Chairman and CEO of MGM Harry Sloan (L), actor Tom Cruise (2nd L), chairperson of MGM Worldwide Motion Picture Group Mary Parent (2nd R), and actress Katie Holmes (R) attend the after party for the New York premiere of “Valkyrie” at The Time Warner Center in New York City, on Dec. 15, 2008. (Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)

Harry Sloan is also a Hollywood, big-dollar donor to President Biden. He is a prolific media investor, who served as a former executive at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) and was appointed to the board of directors for Lionsgate Studios in December 2021. He is also chairman and CEO of Eagle Equity Partners II, LLC.

Mr. Sloan was a California state financial chair for the Mitt Romney presidential campaign in 2012. He also serves as a trustee on the board of The McCain Institute. During the 2016 election cycle, he initially supported Ohio Governor John Kasich until he dropped out. On August 9, 2016, Mr. Sloan announced his support for Democrat Hillary Clinton.

In May 2023, President Biden named Mr. Sloan among the 10 new members of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council.

His net worth is approximately $74 million.

Mr. Sloan has also been a player in the political world of some big-name Republicans, as outlined by the Pacific Council.

In 1987, he was appointed by President Ronald Reagan to serve on the President’s Advisory Council of Trade and Policy Negotiations. He was also a long-time friend of John McCain and served as the National Entertainment chair for Mr. McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign. In 2012, Mr. Sloan served as the financial chair for Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign in California.

Before President Trump secured the GOP nomination, Mr. Sloan was a big supporter of President Trump’s last-standing GOP rival, Nikki Haley.

He contributed a total of $110,000 to the pro-Haley SFA Fund, Inc., and gave matching maximum contributions of $3,300 to Nikki Haley for President, Inc. in support of both her primary and general election efforts. He also contributed $5,000 to the Stand for America PAC, founded by Ms. Haley.

Mr. Sloan also gave $5,000 to Biden for President on Nov. 13, 2023 (one contribution of $3,300 and another of $1,700) and made a separate contribution of $5,000 to the Biden Victory Fund.

Original News Source Link – Epoch Times

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