Bloomberg and Steyer Make Top 10 List of Biggest Super-PAC Donors Ever

Together, they’ve spent $410 million.

On January 21, 2010, the Supreme Court opened the super-PAC era with its 5-4 ruling in the Citizens United case. While the decision left the limits on donations to politicians in place, it blew open caps on outside spending—money given to groups that campaign for or against candidates without officially being part of their campaigns. The decision led to a flood of spending by corporations and unions, as well as superwealthy donors who dropped more than $3 billion on super-PACs in the past decade. As a new report by Public Citizen finds, nearly half of that money came from a handful of people—including presidential candidates Tom Steyer and Michael Bloomberg

Between 2010 and 2020, 25 donors (including couples) accounted for 47 percent of all super-PAC donations from individuals—$1.4 billion in total. At the top of the list were Republican megadonors Sheldon and Miriam Adelson, whose $292 million represented one tenth of all donations. Steyer ($255 million) and Bloomberg ($155 million) took the second and third spots, respectively. Liberal financier and conservative bogeyman George Soros was the tenth largest donor with $44 million.

Steyer, a hedge fund billionaire who is heavily self-funding his presidential run, says he would like to see Citizens United repealed. Bloomberg’s campaign site says he “has worked to eliminate the corrosive power of money in politics.” The former New York City mayor has said he will spend as much as $1 billion on the 2020 election.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

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Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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