Report: Sen. McConnell to Defend Billionaire Donors at Supreme Court

Public Campaign Action Fund is now Every Voice. Check out our new website: EveryVoice.org

Washington, D.C.—When Sen. Mitch McConnell’s lawyer tells the Supreme Court in October to throw out contribution limits, he’ll be asking the Court to expand the political power of dozens of the wealthiest Americans who donate to the Kentucky senator’s campaign, according to new analysis by campaign finance watchdog Public Campaign Action Fund.

On October 8th, the Supreme Court will hear McCutcheon v. FEC, a challenge to the federal “aggregate contribution limit,” what individuals can give, in total, to federal candidates and committees each cycle. The Court has granted McConnell’s request to present his views—that all limits should be thrown out.

That view would be a boon to the country’s wealthiest Americans, including those who have filled the Minority Leader’s campaign coffers over the years. In fact, 62 billionaires have donated to McConnell during his career and 15 of those have neared the “aggregate limit” being challenged in McCutcheon.

“When Sen. McConnell’s lawyer calls on the Supreme Court to throw out contribution limits, he’ll be sending a message to the dozens of billionaires already filling McConnell’s coffers: get your checkbooks ready,” said David Donnelly, executive director of Public Campaign Action Fund.

According to the report:

  • Collectively, at least 62 members of the Forbes billionaires list have donated about $265,000 to Sen. McConnell’s campaigns over his career.
  • In 2012, fifteen of those were within 10 percent of hitting the “aggregate limit” being challenged in McCutcheon.
  • Half of McConnell’s billionaire donors are from Wall Street or the finance sector. In fact, the top giving billionaire is hedge fund titan Paul Singer, who is the head of Elliott Management and worth an estimated $1.3 billion.

Download the full analysis

Polling released by Public Campaign Action Fund this week found McConnell is vulnerable on the issue of money-in-politics, especially his position on unlimited campaign contributions.

“Sen. McConnell’s belief that there should be no contribution limits is unpopular in Kentucky and with most Americans,” said Donnelly. “We look forward to McConnell trying to make the case to Kentuckians that the wealthiest Americans need even more influence in politics.”

###

Public Campaign Action Fund is a national nonpartisan organization dedicated to passing comprehensive changes to America’s campaign finance laws. The organization works to hold elected official accountable for opposing reform and for the special favors they do for contributors. Learn more at www.campaignmoney.org.