7 Plutocrats That Bankrolled the GOP Primary -- and What They Want in Return
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Next comes a covey of four SuperPAC donors of at least $2 million each:
Peter Thiel, a one-time Wall Street derivatives trader who later founded and was CEO of PayPal Inc., as well as being an early investor in Facebook. This internet billionaire has long been involved in anti-government ideological groups, including such Koch-funded operations as the Federalist Society and the Pacific Research Institute. He has become the best pay pal by far of Ron Paul's Endorse Liberty SuperPAC, filling it with $2.7 million.
William Doré, chieftain of Doré Energy, his eponymous oil & gas corporation based in Louisiana. A newcomer to the big-game safari of national politics, the 69-year-old near-billionaire got turned on by Rick Santorum's religio-politico crusade, putting $2.25 million into the donation plate of his Red White and BlueSuperPAC.
Foster Friess, a multimillionaire stock speculator (Brandywine Fund) who moved to Wyoming because of its regulatory leniency and tax-friendliness to the wealthy. This vain and boorish 71-year-old has been a major donor to Christian, Republican, and radical right causes (including at least a million bucks to Koch fronts and campaigns), and he helped fuel Santorum's SuperPAC with $2.25 million this year.
Steven Lund, the former president of Nu-Skin, a Utah-based vitamin-supplement-ointment direct marketer that has a history of legal problems over accusations that it is a pyramid scheme. He turns out to be the secret source of two, separate million-dollar donations to Romney's SuperPAC, one listed as coming from "F8 LLC" and the other from "Eli Publishing." While both "companies" reported that their business address was "Suite #420" in a Provo office building, there is no such suite, nor do the companies exist. Lund says he used the fake storefronts because he didn't want to draw attention to himself.
Thanks a million!
Of course, in our Brave New SuperPAC Democracy, you don't have to give two-to-20 million dollars to be considered a valuable citizen--as little as $1 million can buy you some influence in your government!
One group that is buying heavily into Romney's Restore Our Future SuperPAC is a band of citizens that feels the government is inattentive to their needs: Wall Street bankers. Hedge fund billionaire Kenneth Griffin issued the group's poignant cry for justice: "I think [the wealthy] actually have insufficient influence [in Washington]. Those who have enjoyed the benefits of our system [must] protect the system."
Accordingly, this patriot of plutocracy has put just over a million into Romney's fund and another million into Rove's SuperPAC.
These one-percenters understand that Restore Our Future is a code--meaning their future--not yours and mine--and the SuperPACs' biggest source of cash is from the high-rollers of high finance. Mitt is, after all, one of them, and he has taken a blue-blood oath to "protect the system" of rigged rules, lax regulation, and extraordinary tax breaks that create their wealth.
This is what it means to let unlimited special-interest money gush into American politics--it dethrones democratic rule, corrupts government, increases both wealth disparity and social injustice, and destroys essential public trust in our society's commitment to fairness. SuperPACs are but one of the pipelines allowing corporate money to drown America's historic ideal of egalitarian self-government. The secret (c)(4) corporate "charities," the corporate "bundlers" who collect billions for the candidates' campaigns, the myriad fundraising committees run by both political parties, the sham "foundations" that permit corporate favor-seekers to make tax-deductible donations to elected officials--these and all other channels of private purchase must be capped if America is ever to have a government of, by, and for the people.