Election 2012: The Year of the Sugar Daddy

Now that it’s becoming pretty clear that Election 2012 will be a race between President Obama and Mitt Romney, media outlets are shifting focus from the Republican primaries, which was just bonkers, to how much money each of the candidates are getting. In New York magazine, Frank Rich digs into the 25 donors who have given more than $1 million to Mitt Romney:

Sugar daddies—whom I’ll define here as private donors or their privately held companies writing checks totaling $1 million or more (sometimes much more) in this election cycle—are largely a Republican phenomenon, most of them one degree of separation from Karl Rove and his unofficial partners in erecting a moneyed shadow GOP, David and Charles Koch. At last look, there were 25 known sugar daddies on the right (or more, if you want to count separately the spouses and children who pitch in). You’ve likely heard of Sheldon Adelson, the Vegas tycoon who is Benjamin Netanyahu’s unofficial ambassador to the GOP. But you may be less familiar with Irving Moskowitz, the bingo entrepreneur who funnels his profits into East Jerusalem settlements. Or Robert Mercer, the hedge-fund master of “flash trading” who poured a clandestine $1 million into ads attacking the “ground-zero mosque” and nearly another $3 million into a scale-model railroad in his Long Island mansion.

And although media outlets like the New York Times have been reporting that the President has seen sharp dropoffs in funding from major donors (raising “only” $196 million so far, compared to $235 million during this time in the last election cycle), Obama is still in good shape. 

From The Washington Post:

The Obama campaign has 533 people who have each raised at least $50,000 for his campaign and the Democratic National Committee, including 90 who joined the campaign in the last quarter. The total nearly matches the 558 people who were listed as volunteer fundraisers for the 2008 campaign.

Of this year’s bundlers, 117 are in the top echelon, raising at least $500,000 each, nearly double the number the campaign reported at the end of the 2011 and more than double the 47 who reached that level in 2008.

Oh, and George Clooney is one of his sugar daddies:

Obama will be at actor George Clooney’s house on May 10 for another high-dollar dinner, slated to be the biggest event of his reelection with an expected haul of more than $3 million.

Not to say that the public will be swayed by a good looking actor, but it certainly can’t hurt.



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