The Biden campaign’s main fundraising bodies raised more than $262 million in 2023.
The rich and famous are ready to bankroll the Biden campaign, according to federal disclosures. Accounting for all of its financial mechanisms, the Biden campaign entered 2024 with more than $100 million on hand.
President Joe Biden’s reelection campaign will rely on two main fundraising political action committees: Biden For President, his principal campaign committee, and Future Forward (FF) PAC, a hybrid PAC, along with a joint fundraising committee, the Biden Victory Fund.
As a hybrid PAC, FF PAC can solicit and accept unlimited contributions from individuals, corporations, labor unions, and other political committees, according to the Federal Election Commission (FEC). It must maintain two bank accounts: one for independent expenditures on advertisements or voter drives, and another for making direct contributions to federal candidates.
Biden Victory Fund is a nonqualified joint fundraising committee. According to the agency, that means it is a political committee working together with “one or more other political committees or unregistered organizations.”
A nonqualified fund, according to the FEC, can “receive limited financial and administrative support from a sponsoring organization that is not a corporation or a labor organization, such as a partnership or an unincorporated association.”
The three funds collectively took in about $262.6 million in 2023, according to their year-end reports filed with the FEC on Jan. 31. They spent about $157.8 million and had about $107.5 million on hand at the end of the year.
In terms of spending, Biden For President focused its expenditures on media buying and production. Two firms, Media Buying & Analytics LLC and Gambit Strategies LLC, were collectively paid more than $17 million.
Biden Victory Fund, for its part, sent huge sums to Biden For President, the Democratic National Committee (DNC), and state parties. Nearly $50 million was sent to Biden For President, while the DNC got more than $17 million.
The biggest donors chipped into FF PAC possibly due to limitations on how much can be given to the other funds. However, several notable donors sent nearly $1 million to the Biden Victory Fund.
Future Forward Action USA
The biggest individual donor to the Biden campaign is the nonprofit group Future Forward Action USA, which shares leadership and a name with FF PAC.
As a 501(c)(4) group, Future Forward USA Action is not subject to the same disclosure requirements of other funds associated with political campaigns.
FF PAC, Joe Biden for President, and Biden Victory Fund must release their financial information to the public regularly under FEC rules. In 2024, they will report monthly.
A 501(c)(4) group is not limited in whom it can accept money from, nor how much it can spend, and doesn’t have to say who is donating to it. It also doesn’t report its activities as often as FEC-regulated funds do.
In 2020, Future Forward USA Action provided about 40 percent of FF PAC’s funding.
James Simons, one of the wealthiest men in the world, gave $2.5 million to FF PAC in December 2023. A mathematician, Mr. Simons, the founder of Renaissance Technologies LLC, is considered one of the most successful investors of all time.
Mr. Simons is a significant Democratic Party donor. According to OpenSecrets’ donor records, he regularly makes contributions of more than $1 million to Democratic-aligned groups like House Majority PAC, Senate Majority PAC, and Priorities USA Action.
Representatives of Mr. Simons didn’t respond to a request for comment.
Chicago-area media mogul Fred Eychaner gave $2 million to FF PAC in November 2023.
Mr. Eyechaner is the president of Newsweb Corp., a publisher of alternative newspapers and owner of broadcasters in greater Chicago. He is also a significant Democratic Party donor and regularly sends multimillion-dollar gifts to Democratic causes, according to OpenSecrets’ donor records.
Representatives of Mr. Eychaner didn’t respond to a request for comment.
Entertainment impresario Jeffrey Katzenberg gave $1 million to FF PAC in September 2023. Mr. Katzenberg is a national co-chair of the Biden campaign.
Mr. Katzenberg, now the president of the venture capital firm WndrCo Holdings LLC, was a co-founder of DreamWorks and worked at leading studios such as Disney and Paramount. He also founded the ill-fated video platform Quibi.
Along with his media and investment roles, Mr. Katzenberg is a longtime Democratic Party donor. While the Biden donation was his first contribution north of $1 million since 2022, he often sends gifts to Democratic Party candidates and causes. In June 2023, he shipped $250,000 to the Senate Majority PAC.
Mr. Katzenberg and his wife, Marilyn Katzenberg, collectively gave about $1.78 million to the Biden Victory Fund in April 2023.
Jeff Worthe, president of Santa Monica, California-based Worthe Real Estate Group, gave $1 million to FF PAC in September. According to its website, the group owns more than 7 million square feet of property in the greater Los Angeles area.
According to OpenSecrets’ donor records, Mr. Worthe was a key funder of Democratic Party causes in 2020, making nearly 100 contributions to various state parties and candidates, as well as significant gifts to the DNC.
Laborers International Union of North America
The Laborers International Union of North America, or LIUNA, gave $1 million to FF PAC in December 2023.
According to its website, LIUNA represents over 70,000 public employees and is affiliated with the National Postal Mail Handlers Union, which has 47,000 members representing employees of the United States Postal Service.
Various LIUNA entities consistently support the Democratic Party, according to federal records and OpenSecrets accounting. For instance, in 2020, its Laborers’ International Union of North America PAC spent more than $500,000 in support of President Biden.
Representatives of LIUNA didn’t respond to a request for comment.
Deborah Simon, a daughter of Simon Property Group Inc. founder Melvin Simon, gave $1 million to FF PAC in August 2023.
According to OpenSecrets’ donor records, Ms. Simon is an important donor to Democratic and progressive causes. She has given at least 20 gifts of $1 million or more to party committees and organizations since 2017.
Notable Contributors To Biden Victory Fund
The Biden campaign is raking in money from its joint fundraising committee, which it can then distribute elsewhere. Some notable figures gave almost $1 million to that account in 2023.
Stewart Bainum and Sandra Bainum: The chairman of Choice Hotels International Inc. and his wife donated approximately $1.86 million as a couple. Other family members, Barbara Bainum, Bruce Bainum, and Charlene Bainum, each contributed $250,000.
Robert Hale and Karen Hale: Telecom billionaire Robert Hale, co-founder of Granite Telecommunications LLC, and his wife, Karen Hale, donated $1.75 million as a couple.
George Soros: The progressive megadonor and founder of the Open Society Foundation contributed more than $900,000.
Steven Spielberg: The filmmaker behind classic movies such as “Jaws,” “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” and “Jurassic Park” donated more than $929,000.
Laurene Powell Jobs: The billionaire widow of Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Jobs invested more than $929,000 into the fund.
Representatives of The Bainums, The Hales, Mr. Soros, Mr. Spielberg, and Ms. Powell Jobs did not respond to a request for comment.