by Kent Hoover
July 2, 2014
Former hedge fund manager Tom Steyer leads the list of individuals who have donated the most to congressional candidates, parties and political action committees so far during the 2014 election cycle.
That’s according to the latest update from the Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks campaign contributions.
Steyer founded Farallon Capital Management, but now the San Franciscan is investing in politics. He co-founded Next Generation, an advocacy group that concentrates on climate change and children’s issues. Plus, he and his wife, Kathryn, have donated $11.3 million to Democrats and liberal organizations so far during this campaign.
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is No. 2 on the list at $9 million. Democrats have been the beneficiaries of all but a small fraction of Bloomberg’s political contributions. Gun control is Bloomberg’s main issue this election, but he also donated to Sen. Thad Cochran’s PAC as the Mississippi Republican, who was endorsed by the National Rifle Association, fought off a Tea Party challenger, Chris McDaniel.
A familiar name is No. 3 on the list: Fred Eychaner, chairman of Chicago-based Newsweb Corp. Eychaner has been a major contributor to Democratic candidates and causes for years, but tends to avoid publicity. If you want to know more about him, the National Journal tracked him down recently.
In all, 21 individuals and/or couples have donated more than $1 million to this year’s political campaigns, including liberal George Soros and conservative Warren Stephens, chairman and CEO of Stephens Inc.
The top 100 list also includes Napster co-founder Sean Parker, DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg, film and television producer/director J.J. Abrams and former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.
The list, however, does not include Charles Koch and David Koch.
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