Cady Zuvich

Meet the Billionaire Environmentalist Funding a Major Ad Push Against Donald Trump

A billionaire environmentalist is spending big money in California to skewer presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump—the latest volley in a barrage of anti-Trump advertising that has saturated TV airwaves.

Keep reading...Show less

Right-Wing Wall St. Financiers Launch Big Money Attack on Clinton

Hedge fund managers and investors, together worth billions of dollars, are bankrolling a little-known super PAC that on Tuesday unleashed attack ads against Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton.

Who’s behind it?

Running the operations is Brian O. Walsh, president of Future45. In 2010, Walsh directed a $26 million campaignat “dark money” nonprofit American Action Network — an effort that succeeded in helping Republicans gain control of the House. Walsh left the American Action Network in January.

Weiser, former chairman of the Michigan Republican Party, is chairman of Future45.

Officials at Future45 did not immediately return requests for comment.

Money in

The group is backed by three known donors, according to federal records: Kenneth Griffin, president of Citadel;William C. Powers, an investor; and Paul Singer, founder of hedge fund Elliot Management.

Singer has personally endorsed Republican Marco Rubio for president.

Meanwhile, Griffin — a big-time donor to candidates and committees in state and federal races — donated $100,000 in June to Right to Rise USA, a super PAC supporting Republican Jeb Bush for president. Powers, while not as politically active as the others, did donate $100,000 to Right to Rise USA in April.

The family of Joe Ricketts, founder of TD Ameritrade, is also supporting Future45’s effort, according to the Wall Street Journal. The Ricketts family has donated to several super PACs supporting presidential candidates, including more than $5 million to Unintimidated PAC, the group that supported Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s now-defunct presidential bid.

Future45 formed in March. It raised $600,000 through June 30, according to the Federal Election Commission. But it’s likely added significant money to its war chest: federal rules don’t require it to again disclose its finances until January. And being a super PAC allows Future45, unlike presidential campaign committees themselves, to collect contributions in unlimited amounts.

While the nonprofit 45Committee isn’t required to reveal its donors, it cannot spend the majority of its money on politics. Other politically active nonprofit groups have, however, pushed boundaries for how political they may get.

Money out

Future45 spent about $115,000 on the ad production and placement for its first ad that criticized Clinton’s foreign policy chops in Libya.

The latest ad — this time focused on Syria — will run nationally on television and is part of a “six-figure digital ad campaign reaching independents in Colorado, Iowa, Nevada and New Hampshire,” according to a press release issued Tuesday by the super PAC.

Future45’s first anti-Clinton ad aired on television 25 times during October in New Hampshire, Iowa and Massachusetts markets, as well as on national cable networks, according to data collected by media monitoring firm Kantar Media/CMAG.

Both ads are the group’s only known expenditures. A full accounting of the group’s 2015 expenditures will be revealed when Future45 files disclosure documents with the FEC in January.

Why to watch this group

Future45 and the 45Committee are likely to invest heavily in the 2016 presidential race, and they’ve attracted donors who are no strangers to making seven-figure donations.

This isn’t their first time working in concert either.

Since 2014, Griffin, Singer, Powers and Ricketts (with his wife Marlene) have cumulatively contributed $12.8 million to the super PAC End Spending Action Fund, according to FEC filings. Ricketts founded the Ending Spending super PAC and its sister nonprofit with the same name in 2010.

Those associated with Future45 also attended an October fundraiser held by Singer.

Keep reading...Show less
@2023 - AlterNet Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. - "Poynter" fonts provided by