W.E. "Ed" Bosarge Jr. isn't a household name, but the $2 million he gave in federal contributions and the $1.2 million more he chipped in to state level political action committees--much of it in his home state of Texas--in the 2011-2012 election cycle have made him well known to politicians. So well known, in fact, that a pair of bills pending in the Texas House or Representatives would commend him and his wife Marie Taylor Bosarge on their accomplishments.
A financial wizard who got his start working flight control systems for Saturn rockets, Bosarge has interests beyond ...Continue reading
In the five or so years since hedge fund manager Donald Sussman and Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, have known each other, the investment tycoon has made his mark in her state, becoming its top political donor in 2012 and a major backer to Democratic super PACs. He's also found ways to bankroll her campaign, while buying a controlling interest in the local papers that cover her district.
Sussman, the billionaire manager of boutique hedge funds which manage about $8 billion in assets, married Pingree in 2011. She's the former president of campaign finance watchdog Common Cause. In his ...Continue reading
Like many people living near the East Coast, we are anxiously following the development of Hurricane Sandy. The National Weather... View ArticleContinue reading
Here are some of the donors we've featured so far in our continuing Stealthy Wealthy series. Keep watching for more. Meanwhile, Sunlight will be watching to see what these business people are seeking as a return on their investments.Continue reading
It sounds like a scenario straight from central casting. A liberal Hollywood mogul and conservative Texas billionaire are among the exclusive 25-member million-dollar check writing club whose members forked over additional cash for super PACs in September, according to a recent Sunlight Foundation analysis.
Dreamworks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg and Texas nuclear waste entrepreneur Harold Simmons are also among Sunlight's Stealthy Wealthy, our continuing series that looks at the giving habits of influential political donors. For the month of September, Katzenberg and Simmons were the only Stealthies who showed up as donating to super PACs -- but it's always possible ...Continue reading
A relative handful of mega-donors capable of writing seven-figure checks, thanks to the 2010 Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United that opened the door for unlimited campaign contributions, have fuelled this fall's dizzying rise in outside political spending, which jumped from $14 million the week ending Sept. 1 to $110 million the week ending Oct. 20, according to Sunlight's Follow the Unlimited Money tracker.
In September, 25 individuals or organizations wrote checks of $1 million or more to super PACs, according to Sunlight's analysis of the last full month of campaign expenditure reports that we will see ...Continue reading
Longtime Democratic donor Franklin L. Haney, who with his wife Emeline has poured $1.1 million into the effort to reelect President Barack Obama, has built his business around developing government-supported real estate projects and acting as a government landlord.
He survived investigations in the 1990s by the Justice Department on campaign finance violations and by Congress for using his monied influence to secure a lucrative government lease. During the latter, he was nearly found in contempt of Congress for failing to supply requested documents.
The onetime champion Bible seller and would-be governor of his home state of Tennessee has ...Continue reading
After deciding to profile Franklin L. Haney as part of our Stealthy Wealthy series, an obvious question soon posed itself: Exactly how much have Haney's companies collected over the years in leasing office space to the federal government?
The answer -- or rather non-answer -- to the question says less about Haney than it does about the limits on what the public can know about how its tax dollars are being spent.
News reports stated that his company, through a variety of limited liability corporations and real estate partnerships, had leases for office space worth many millions of dollars dating back ...Continue reading
Franklin L. Haney is a case study on how hard it can be to get a comprehensive picture of the campaign contribution clout of a particular individual or company given the limits of state and local level disclosure.
The influential developer, who bid unsuccessfully to become the owner of the Washington Nationals baseball team and helped bankroll the political career of fellow Tennessean Al Gore, has long been known as a major Democratic donor. But he leaves a surprisingly small footprint on Sunlight's Influence Explorer. The totals show $1.2 million since 1989 to federal candidates and parties and ...Continue reading
Texas-based billionaire Robert Rowling has given a total of $6.8 million to American Crossroads, the super PAC that has run ads criticizing President Barack Obama for, among other things, bailing out and bankrolling private businesses with public money. Yet Rowling, seen at right, a member of the Forbes 400 list of the wealthiest Americans who inherited his fortune, hasn't been averse to seeking taxpayer assistance in his own business ventures. And he's been willing to use his private fortune to seek public dollars.
Though he's a less well-known name than mega donors like George Soros or ...Continue reading