Hat Tip to Robert Reich who has picked up on a 2/4/22 report by Michela Tindera in Forbes:

Billionaire Republican Donors Are Now Giving To Manchin And Sinema

As Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) stood in the way of President Joe Biden’s agenda last year, they attracted the support of a small–but very rich–cohort: billionaires who gave money to Donald Trump’s previous campaigns.

In 2021, Manchin and Sinema received campaign contributions from at least 13 billionaires who previously donated to Trump, according to an analysis of Federal Election Commission records. Among the donors: Continental Resources chairman Harold Hamm, investor Ken Langone, and Apollo private equity CEO Marc Rowan. At least 10 gave to Manchin, while at least six gave to Sinema. Some of the billionaires gave to both. Such support is new: Between 2017 and 2020, only three billionaires gave to both Trump and Manchin. One gave to Trump and Sinema.

“This is something that we see when particular members become more prominent,” says Robert Maguire, a campaign finance expert who serves as research director at Citizens For Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. “Funding becomes more nationalized. We start to see that people who want access and influence to powerful members start giving to them.” Long-time Republican donors, he added, “are going to want to support any Democrat who is going to stymie Joe Biden’s agenda.”

emphasis added

To be fair, it should be noted that giving money to politicians to get their attention is how business is done. Money = speech according to the Supreme Court in “Citizens United”. Anyone is free to contribute, up to the legal limits. People giving money to both parties is a way of hedging bets and ensuring access. It’s very bipartisan and it’s not necessarily corruption. Up to a point.

But… the more money you have, the more “speech” you can afford. The article gives some examples and provides some comments from the donors on the reasons for their largesse.

More to the point, watching the flow of money provides some measure of where it thinks it will have the biggest bang for the buck. The article concludes with this:

Both Manchin and Sinema last campaigned for their Senate seats in 2018 and are not up for reelection until 2024.The recent burst of support from three-comma-club members stands out compared to previous non-election years. In 2019, Manchin accepted money from just one billionaire, while Sinema collected donations from three. The next year, Manchin got support from five tycoons, and Sinema from four. In 2021, however, Manchin received contributions from 25 billionaires, and Sinema got money from 21.

emphasis added

Randy Newman put this out in 1988. It’s not getting better.


877 votes Show Results

Does this shift in where Manchin and Sinema are attracting donations from surprise you?

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Does this shift in where Manchin and Sinema are attracting donations from surprise you?

Unfortunately, no.
558 votes
A bit – hadn’t realized how much it had changed.
20 votes
Only in how little attention/surprise it seems to be getting.
181 votes
No surprise at all – this is how it works.
112 votes
See my comment.
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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.


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