Whom Mark Sanford owes

by

Mark Sanford

Some big investors got a nice payoff Tuesday when Mark Sanford, South Carolina's disgraced former governor, won back his old House seat.

As Sanford acknowledged in his victory speech Tuesday night in Charleston, he's got a lot to be thankful for. The list could include more than $200,000 in late donations from big Republican donors and interests who bet that the ex-South Carolina governor could overcome a sex scandal and get his political career on track. The group includes 47 organizations and out-of-state givers — a number of them with ties to the financial industry and libertarian causes.

Their support came as party leaders were shunning Sanford after revelations that his ex-wife was suing him for trespassing — a charge the congressman-elect has a Thursday court date to answer. Two corporations with facilities in South Carolina,  MeadWestVaco, and Boeing, gave $5,000 each from their political action committees. The National Rifle Association gave $2,000 and CTIA, the trade association for the wireless industry, $1,000.

But Sanford's most intriguing pool of late support came from the investment community. He received $5,200 donations — the maximum permitted under federal law — from a number of out-of-state givers with ties to financial firms.

  • Howard and Andrea Rich: Howard Rich is a New York real estate developer and long-time supporter of libertarian causes whose many organizations have contributed at least $1.7 million to South Carolina nonprofits. He founded the 501(c)4 group U.S. Term Limits. The group's recommendation for a maximum of three terms for House members will be violated by Sanford when he takes his seat, as it is the same one he occupied for six years in the late 1990s before being elected governor.
  • Richard and Maureen Chilton. According to Chilton's profile on Influence Explorer, Sanford has been his top beneficiary. Chilton is the founder of a Connecticut-based hedge fund. The Chilton Trust, which caters to "ultra high-net worth individuals," recently named former CIA Director Porter Goss, a Florida Republican who served in Congress with Sanford, as a director. Goss is also the chairman of the board of the Office of Congressional Ethics, an independent body authorized by Congress to investigate ethics complaints against lawmakers.
  • Paul and Laura Jost. Paul Jost is a real estate investor and anti-tax activist who after two unsuccessful runs for Congress in Virginia decided to relocate to Florida. 
  • Patrick and Carol Welsh. Patrick Welsh of Vero Beach, Fla., has a been an active donor, mostly to Republicans, with a few strategically placed contributions to Democrats on the tax-writing Senate Finance Committee: Max Baucus of Montana, Ron Wyden of Oregon and Chuck Schumer of New York. Welsh works for a New York-based investment firm that specializes in information services and health care.
  • Jeff and Janine Yass. Jeff Yass is the partner of Arthur Dantchik, who also gave Sanford $2,600, in the suburban Philadelphia investment firm Susquehanna International Group. Dantchik and Yass are are libertarian financiers who use poker as a training tool for their traders.

Two partners at another mid-Atlantic investment house, Christopher and Jon Greer, also gave a combined $5,200 to Sanford. Their New Jersey investment firm, GSG Advisors, bills itself as a "wealth management firm serving the needs of affluent individuals, families and closely held businesses."

Another notable out-of-state contributor who maxed-out late to Sanford: Georgette Mosbacher gave $2,600. She's a controversy-prone cosmetics executive and co-chair of the RNC Finance Committee who recently blamed her party's leadership for its losses in the 2012 elections. She divorced the late Robert Mosbacher, a long time confidante of former President George H.W. Bush who served as his secretary of Commerce. 

(Contributing: Lindsay Young, Keenan Steiner and Jacob Fenton)

Sanford's Late Donors

Last minute donations by organizations and out of state contributors:
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