The 20 Biggest Donors of the 2012 Election (So Far)
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Jerry, 80, is the former CEO of the Spanish-language network Univision, which he sold for $13.7 billion in 2007. He is worth a reported $2.3 billion and is one of Malibu's biggest private landowners. He was previously a talent agent for Marlon Brando, Elizabeth Taylor, and other stars. His wife, Margaret, is a portrait artist who has painted celebrities including Salma Hayek. In the 2012 election cycle, the Perenchios have dished out $2 million to Rove's American Crossroads.
Total giving for 2012 race: $2,128,300
• Giving to outside-spending groups: $2,000,000
• Giving to candidates and parties: $128,300
5. ROBERT AND TERRY ROWLING (HIGHLAND PARK, TEXAS)
Reportedly worth $4.7 billion, the 57-year-old Robert owns TRT Holdings, whose assets include the Tana Exploration oil company, a Mexican dollar-store chain, and Gold's Gym. He and his wife, Terry, live in the legendarily conservative Dallas suburb of Highland Park. He has given millions of dollars to state and national Republicans over the years; as a bundler to George W. Bush's 2004 campaign, he was named a "Bush Pioneer." In the 2012 election cycle, he has given $1 million to American Crossroads (a prior donation prompted protests from San Francisco branches of Gold's Gym).
Total giving for 2012 race: $1,101,600
• Giving to outside-spending groups: $1,000,000
• Giving to candidates and parties: $101,600
6. KENETH AND ANNE GRIFFIN (CHICAGO)
A hedge fund power couple, Ken and Anne Griffin are, respectively, the founder and CEO of Citadel and the founder and managing partner of Aragon Global Management, one of the nation's largest hedge funds headed by a woman. Noted art aficionados, they own works by Monet, Degas, and Cezanne, and paid $80 million for a Jasper Johns painting. Reportedly worth $2.3 billion, Ken bundled money for both Obama and John McCain during the 2008 election. In the 2012 election cycle, the couple has given $500,000 to the Republican Governors Association, $300,000 to Rove's American Crossroads, and $150,000 to the Wisconsin Club for Growth. Bonus: Charles Koch named them as part of a list of elite donors who have pledged $1 million to his and his brother David's conservative fundraising machine.
Total giving for 2012 race: $1,089,000
• Giving to outside-spending groups: $950,000
• Giving to candidates and parties: $139,000
7. JOHN AND JENNY PAULSON (NEW YORK CITY)
With a net worth of $15.5 billion, John, a phenomenally successful hedge funds manager, is America's 17th-richest man. After riding out the market collapse, Paulson made $4.9 billion in 2010— Wall Street's biggest-ever single payday. Occupy Wall Street protested outside his 28,500-square foot Manhattan mansion in October 2011. The following month he issued a letter apologizing for Paulson Funds' poor recent performance, then personally bailed it out to the tune of $4 million. In the 2012 election cycle, Paulson has given $1 million to the pro-Romney super-PAC Restore Our Future. He and his wife Jenny have also given $9,600 to Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown.
Total giving for 2012 race: $1,075,600
• Giving to outside-spending groups: $1,005,000
• Giving to candidates and parties: $70,600
9. EDWARD AND JILL CONRAD (NEW YORK CITY)