HELENA, Mont. — The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated Montana’s campaign donation limits, telling the federal judge who struck down the limits that the panel needs to see his full reasoning so it can review the case.
The court intervened late Tuesday less than a week after the judge’s decision opened the door to unlimited money in state elections – during the height of election season.
In response, U.S. District Judge Charles Lovell issued a 38-page conclusion Wednesday morning that reinforced his earlier decision finding that the state’s limits are too low to allow effective campaigning. He suggested the state Legislature would have a “clean canvas” to perhaps establish new, higher limits that could meet constitutional muster.
The 9th circuit did not immediately respond, leaving the state limits in place – for the time being. The legal back and forth came with less than a month until Election Day.
Montana limits range from $630 for an individual contributing to a governor’s race to $160 for a state House candidate. The amounts are adjusted each election cycle to account for inflation. The law also limited aggregate donations from political parties.
Conservative groups emboldened by the 2010 U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision have made Montana the center of the fight over many campaign finance restrictions.
The groups have convinced a federal judge to strike down several laws as unconstitutional, including the cap on contributions given to candidates by individuals and political parties.
Over the past week, Montana election officials had urged candidates to abide by the old limits. But attorneys for conservative and Republican groups advised candidates they could take unlimited money during that window.
Some candidates said they would abide by the old limits, while others considered the idea of taking larger donations. The effect won’t be known until disclosure reports are filed later with the state Commissioner of Political Practices.
The disclosure of donations is still required, although state officials worry that conservative groups will next attack that aspect of campaign finance law.
Lovell said in his complete Wednesday order that his decision was not about the policy of having unlimited donations in an election’s closing weeks.
“Much has been made of whether striking Montana’s contribution limits is good policy and good for Montana voters. This case, though, is not about policy. It is about following the law that the United States Supreme Court set out,” Lovell wrote.
The Montana attorney general’s office did not immediately comment.
One of the attorneys working for the Washington D.C.-based American Tradition Partnership, a group at the center of several Montana cases, said they hope the appeals court will lift its stay in the wake of Lovell’s full decision.
The attorney general’s office argues that American Tradition Partnership is a shadowy front group which is illegally trying to conceal its political spending, perhaps with money received from foreign corporations. The state is seeking sanctions against the conservative group in a separate court case.
Montana has seen many of its laws struck down in the wake of the Citizens United decision that opened the door for more corporate spending in federal races, citing freedom of speech issues.
Last month, a federal appeals court struck down Montana’s ban on partisan endorsements of judicial candidates, citing Citizens United.
U.S. District Judge Charles Lovell earlier this year ruled as unconstitutional laws requiring attack ads to disclose voting records and a ban on knowingly false statements in such ads.
The Supreme Court also tossed the state’s century-old, voter-approved ban on independent corporate political spending in state races.
That decision prompted a new ballot initiative that, if approved in November by voters, asks state leaders to seek a constitutional amendment undermining the high court’s decision.
Earlier on HuffPost:
Sheldon Adelson And Family (R)
Sheldon Adelson, the Las Vegas casino magnate, and his family have combined to give $37.75 million to super PACs in the 2012 election cycle. At first, Adelson pumped money into Winning Our Future, the super PAC supporting Newt Gingrich, but now he is funding groups backing Mitt Romney and congressional Republicans. Adelson is ranked on the emForbes/em list of the richest Americans at number eight, with $21.5 billion in net worth.
Sheldon Adelson and his wife, Miriam, gave $15 million to Winning Our Future. His daughters Sivan Ochshorn and Shelley Maye Adelson each chipped in $500,000. Another daughter and her husband each gave $250,000. Adelson and his wife have also given $10 million to Restore Our Future (supporting Romney), $5 million to Congressional Leadership Fund, $5 million to YG Action Fund, $1 million to Freedom PAC (supporting Connie Mack) and $250,000 to Conservative Renewal PAC (supporting David Dewhurst).
Adelson remained in the number one spot among super PAC donors after counting contributions for August. He has allegedly a href=”http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/16/sheldon-adelson-to-lavish_n_1600149.html”given in excess of $70 million/a when contributions to non-profit groups like Americans for Prosperity and the Republican Jewish Coalition are included.
His involvement in politics revolves around his support for the state of Israel, a href=”http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/11/sheldon-adelson-newt-gingrich-israel_n_1195867.html” target=”_hplink”in particular the policies of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu/a. His business, along with that of other super PAC donors, a href=”http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/18/sheldon-adelson-bribery-super-pac-donors-fcpa_n_1602694.html” target=”_hplink”is also under investigation/a for violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
Harold And Annette Simmons (R)
Harold Simmons, the octogenarian Dallas businessman, combined with his wife Annette and his company, Contran Corp., to donate $19,205,000 to super PACs. Simmons is listed in emForbes/em magazine as the 33rd richest person in America with a net worth of $9.3 billion.
Simmons and Contran donated $13 million to American Crossroads, $1 million to Make Us Great Again (supporting Rick Perry), $1.1 million to Winning Our Future (supporting Newt Gingrich), $800,000 to Restore Our Future (supporting Mitt Romney) and $100,000 to Restoring Prosperity Fund (formerly Americans for Rick Perry). Annette Simmons gave $1.2 million to Red White And Blue Fund (supporting Rick Santorum). Simmons has also given $750,000 to Texas Conservatives Fund and $500,000 to Conservative Renewal PAC, both super PACs supporting Senate candidate David Dewhurst. He gave another $5,000 to Freedom PAC, which supports Connie Mack for Senate in Florida.
Simmons — who explained that he is contributing money to super PACs to a href=”http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/22/harold-simmons-obama_n_1371642.html”stop “that socialist,” President Barack Obama/a — remains in second place among super PAC donors.
Bob Perry (R)
Texas homebuilder Bob Perry contributed $15.9 million to super PACs. Perry is one of the most prolific donors in contemporary political history. He was a major backer of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, the outside group that helped torpedo John Kerry’s presidential campaign in 2004. Perry’s net worth has been estimated at around $650 million.
Perry has given $8 million to Restore Our Future (supporting Romney), $6.5 million to American Crossroads, $1 million to Congressional Leadership Fund, $300,000 to Texas Conservatives Fund (supporting David Dewhurst), and $100,000 to Make Us Great Again (supporting Rick Perry, who is of no relation).
National Education Association (D)
The National Education Association, the largest U.S. labor union representing teachers, contributed $5.33 million to super PACs.
The union gave $4.9 million to its own super PAC, the NEA Advocacy Fund, $250,000 to DGA Action, $100,000 to American Bridge 21st Century and $5,000 to the Patriot Majority PAC.
Peter Thiel (R)
Peter Thiel, the hedge fund manager, venture capitalist and early Facebook investor, has contributed $4.73 million to super PACs. Thiel, a radical libertarian, ranks 293 on the emForbes/em list of richest Americans, with a net worth of $1.5 billion.
The majority of Thiel’s money, $2.73 million, has gone to Endorse Liberty, a super PAC supporting Ron Paul in the Republican presidential race. He has since switched his giving to Club for Growth Action, the super PAC of the ultra-conservative free market Club for Growth. Thiel has given $2 million to the Club super PAC.
Robert Rowling And TRT Holdings (R)
Robert Rowling, the Texas billionaire who runs the business holding company TRT Holdings, has contributed $4.135 million to super PACs in the 2012 election cycle. Rowling ranks 66 on emForbes’/em list of richest Americans, with a net worth of $4.7 billion.
He gave $4 million to American Crossroads, $100,000 to Restore Our Future (supporting Romney) and $35,000 to Texas Conservatives Fund (supporting David Dewhurst).
Service Employees International Union (D)
The Service Employees International Union, the nation’s fastest growing labor union representing close to 2 million people, contributed $4.24 million to super PACs. SEIU is one of the most politically active unions in the country.
SEIU has given $1.35 million to Florida Freedom PAC, $1 million to Priorities USA Action (supporting Obama), $550,000 to Service Employees International Union PEA-Federal, $443,350 to House Majority PAC, $425,000 to Rethink PAC (opposing Scott Brown), $250,000 to Majority PAC, $200,000 to American Bridge 21st Century and $17,750 to Working For Us PAC.
James Simons (D)
James Simons, the billionaire chairman of the hedge fund Renaissance Technologies, gave $4 million to super PACs. Simons is ranked 30 on the emForbes/em list of richest Americans, with a net worth of $10.5 billion.
Simons gave $2 million to Priorities USA Action (supporting Barack Obama), $1.5 million to Majority PAC, a super PAC that backs Democratic Senate candidates, and $500,000 to House Majority PAC, backing Democratic House candidates.
Steve Amber Mostyn (D)
Steve and Amber Mostyn have contributed $3.328 million to super PACs in the 2012 election cycle. Steve, a multi-millionaire trial lawyer in Houston, Texas, and the president of the Texas Trial Lawyer Association, is a long-time donor to Democratic Party causes in both Texas and nationally.
The Mostyns gave $2,003,850 to Priorities USA Action (supporting Obama), $1 million to House Majority PAC, $200,000 to Planned Parenthood Votes and $125,000 to Texans for America’s Future, a super PAC that opposed Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s presidential bid.
Fred Eychaner (D)
Fred Eychaner, the Chicago-based media mogul who made his fortune with Newsweb Corp., gave $3.25 million to super PACs. He is a longtime funder of outside groups backing Democrats, having contributed $2 million to so-called 527 groups in the effort to defeat President George W. Bush in 2004. Eychaner is also a noted LGBT activist and has funded efforts to promote equality.
Eychaner gave $1.5 million to Priorities USA Action (supporting Obama), $800,000 to Majority PAC, $750,000 to House Majority PAC and $200,000 to America Votes Action Fund.
Crow Holdings LLC, Harlan Crow and Trammell Crow (R)
Crow Holdings LLC, which manages the wealth of the late real estate developer Trammel Crow, its director Harlan Crow and his brother Trammel S. Crow have contributed $3.135 million to super PACs.
Harlan Crow, Trammel S. Crow and the company combined to give $1.5 million to American Crossroads, $1.3 million to Restore Our Future (supporting Romney), $250,000 to FreedomWorks for America, $50,000 to Texas Conservatives Fund (supporting David Dewhurst) and $35,000 to Campaign for Primary Accountability.
John Childs (R)
John Childs, the head of the Boston-based private equity firm J.W. Childs Associates, has contributed $3.125 million to super PACs.
Childs has contributed $1.125 million to Club for Growth Action, $1 million to Restore Our Future (supporting Mitt Romney) and $1 million to American Crossroads.
William Koch, Oxbow Carbon And Huron Carbon (R)
William Koch, the lesser-known Koch brother, and two of his companies, petroleum, energy and minerals companies Oxbow Carbon and Huron Carbon, gave $3 million to Restore Our Future (backing Romney).
Robert And Rebekah Mercer (R)
Robert Mercer (left), the co-CEO of the $15 billion hedge fund Renaissance Technologies, and his daughter, Rebekah Mercer, gave $2.865 million to super PACs.
Robert Mercer contributed $1 million to Restore Our Future (supporting Romney), $1 million to American Crossroads, $600,000 to Club for Growth Action and $200,000 to National Horizon. Rebekah Mercer gave $50,000 to the Coalition for American Values and $15,000 to the Club for Growth.
John Ramsey (R)
John Ramsey, a 21-year old college student who inherited millions from his banker grandfather, contributed $2.79 million to super PACs.
The majority of the young libertarian’s contributions went to his own super PAC, Liberty for All. Another $450 went to Revolution PAC, which supported Ron Paul for the Republican nomination for president.
Amy Goldman (D)
Amy Goldman, the author and activist who has been called “perhaps the world’s premier vegetable gardener,” contributed $2.75 million to super PACs. Goldman is the heiress to the fortune of New York real estate titan Sol Goldman.
Goldman gave $1 million to Priorities USA Action (supporting Barack Obama), $1 million to Planned Parenthood Votes, the super PAC for the family planning services provider, $500,000 to House Majority PAC and $250,000 to American Bridge 21st Century.
Cooperative Of American Physicians (I)
The a href=”http://www.capphysicians.com/about_us” target=”_hplink”Cooperative of American Physicians/a is a medical malpractice and medical liability insurer. The group has contributed $2.63 million to its own super PAC. No other information has been provided on the source of the funds contributed by the cooperative.
Jerry Perenchio (R)
Jerry Perenchio, founder of the Spanish language television network Univision, contributed $2.6 million to super PACs. Perenchio ranks 171 on the emForbes/em list of richest Americans, with a net worth of $2.3 billion.
Perenchio gave $2 million to American Crossroads, $500,000 to Restore Our Future (supporting Mitt Romney), and $100,000 to Our Destiny (supporting Jon Huntsman).
Joseph Craft And Alliance Management Holdings (R)
Joseph Craft and his holding company, Alliance Management Holdings, gave $2.6 million to super PACs. Craft is ranked 331 on the emForbes/em list of richest Americans, with a net worth of $1.3 billion. Alliance Management Holdings is a privately held company run by Craft with significant shares in the managing partner of Alliance Resource Partners.
Craft and his company gave $2.1 million to American Crossroads, including $1.675 million in May, and $500,000 to Restore Our Future (supporting Romney).
American Federation Of State, County And Municipal Employees (D)
The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the nation’s largest public employee union with 1.6 million members, contributed $2.589 million to super PACs. AFSCME is very politically active in local and national politics. In 2011, it faced direct attacks in such states as Ohio and Wisconsin, when Republican governors sought to curtail collective bargaining rights for public employees.
AFSCME gave $575,000 to American Bridge 21st Century, $500,000 to the AFL-CIO Workers’ Voices PAC, $500,000 to Majority PAC, $415,000 to House Majority PAC, $250,000 to Priorities USA Action (supporting Barack Obama), $200,000 to Working Families For Hawaii (supporting Mazie Hirono), $100,000 to Committee to Elect An Effective Valley Congressman (supporting Howard Berman), $25,000 to Women Vote! and $24,900 to Working For Us PAC.
Foster Friess (R)
Foster Friess, the Wyoming investor, contributed $2.425 million to super PACs, mostly to those supporting the presidential candidacy of Rick Santorum. Since Santorum dropped out of the race, Friess has shifted his contributions to help Mitt Romney and congressional Republicans. Friess is estimated to be worth above $500 million.
He has given $2.1 million to Red White and Blue Fund (supporting Santorum), $100,000 to Restore Our Future (supporting Mitt Romney), $100,000 to FreedomWorks, $50,000 to Leaders for Families (also supporting Santorum), $25,000 to Friends of the Majority, $25,000 to USA Super PAC, $10,000 to Freedom Born Fund, $10,000 to Club for Growth Action and $5,000 to Fund for Freedom.
The AFL-CIO, the nation’s largest federation of unions, contributed $2.3 million to super PACs. The federation, boasting 12.2 million members, is made up of 57 national and international labor unions. Its funds come from the dues paid by members.
The AFL-CIO gave $2.2 million to its own super PAC, and that super PAC gave $100,000 to American Bridge 21st Century.
George Soros (D)
George Soros, the noted hedge fund investor and long-time Democratic donor, has contributed $2.775 million to super PACs when including contributions that he gave in September.
Soros became famous for his political contributions after he gave more than $30 million to 527 groups to defeat former President George W. Bush in 2004. He has reached a mythological status with some conservatives as a wildly influential figure in world politics.
In reported contributions, Soros has given $1 million to American Bridge 21st Century, $175,000 to House Majority PAC and $100,000 to Majority PAC.
In September, Soros, through contributions not yet reported to the FEC, a href=”http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/27/george-soros-super-pac_n_1920491.html”gave $1 million/a to Priorities USA Action (supporting Obama) and $500,000 split between House Majority PAC and Majority PAC.
William Dore (R)
William Dore, the Louisiana energy executive, gave $2.25 million to Red White and Blue Fund (supporting Santorum). This was the biggest foray into political giving by Dore, who has previously cut large checks for Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and the Republican Governors Association. He is estimated to be worth in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Credit: a href=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M_KzFkneorU” target=”_hplink”YouTube/a
Dealer Computer Services, CRC Information Systems, Fairbanks Properties, Waterbury Properties (Bob Brockman) (R)
Four companies — Dealer Computer Services, CRC Information Systems, Fairbanks Properties and Waterbury Properties — sharing the same address as The Reynolds Reynolds Company headed by Bob Brockman, have given $2.25 million to super PACs.
CRC Information Systems, Fairbanks Properties and Waterbury Properties combined to give $1 million to Restore Our Future and another $1 million to American Crossroads. Dealer Computer Services has given $200,000 to the pro-David Dewhurst Texas Conservatives Fund and $50,000 to Restoring Prosperity Fund.
Jon Huntsman Sr. (R)
Jon Huntsman Sr., the billionaire Utah industrialist, contributed $2.22 million to a super PAC supporting the presidential candidacy of his son, Jon Huntsman Jr. Huntsman Sr. has given away much of his fortune in recent years and is estimated to be worth slightly north of $1 billion.
Huntsman’s contributions to Our Destiny, the super PAC backing his son in the Republican primary contest, came under scrutiny based on the laws banning coordination between super PACs and campaigns.
Paul Singer (R)
Paul Singer (pictured far right), the hedge fund titan in charge of Elliot Associates, contributed $2.219 million to super PACs through June 2012. Singer has an estimated worth of $900 million.
He has given $1 million to Restore Our Future (supporting Romney) and $1.218 million to American Unity, a super PAC meant to support pro-gay marriage Republican candidates for office.
Working for Working Americans (D)
Working for Working Americans, a union-run super PAC, has contributed $2.15 million to other super PACs in the 2012 election cycle.
The super PAC has given $2 million to House Majority PAC and $150,000 to Majority PAC.
(Pictured: Nancy Pelosi, leader of the House Democrats, whose efforts Working for Working Americans’ contributions are aiding.)
Jeffrey Katzenberg (D)
Jeffrey Katzenberg, the CEO of DreamWorks Animation, has given gave $2.125 million to super PACs. Katzenberg’s net worth is estimated to be above $800 million.
His biggest contribution was a $2 million gift to Priorities USA Action, the super PAC supporting Barack Obama’s reelection bid. Katzenberg has also given $100,000 to Majority PAC and $25,000 to Committee to Elect An Effective Valley Congressman, the super PAC supporting Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.), a staunch ally of Hollywood.
Katzenberg is also a major fundraiser for the Obama reelection campaign, having brought in more than $500,000.
Irwin Jacobs (D)
Irwin Jacobs, a founder of Qualcomm, has contributed $2.1 million to super PACs. Jacobs is worth $1.15 billion and ranks 372nd on the Forbes list of the 400 richest Americans.
Jacobs has given $2 million to Priorities USA Action (supporting Barack Obama) and $100,000 to American Bridge 21st Century.
American Federation Of Teachers (D)
The American Federation of Teachers, the second-largest union in the nation with 1.5 million members, gave $2.1 million to super PACs. After nearly doubled its giving in March with $600,000 in contributions to super PACs the super PAC gave another $300,000 in April and added another $250,000 in May.
The union donated $1 million to the AFL-CIO Workers’ Voices PAC, $300,000 to House Majority PAC, $300,000 to Majority PAC, $250,000 to Priorities USA Action (supporting Barack Obama) and $250,000 to DGA Action.
Kenneth And Anne Griffin (R)
Kenneth Griffin, the head of the massive hedge fund Citadel, has contributed $2.08 million to super PACs. Griffin is ranked 173rd on the emForbes/em list of richest Americans.
In 2008, he helped raise money for then-Sen. Barack Obama during the Democratic primary, but switched to support Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in the general election. Griffin has since become increasingly critical of President Obama and what he considers to be class warfare rhetoric coming from the White House. He stated that the wealthy have “a href=”http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/11/ken-griffin-mitt-romney_n_1337721.html” target=”_hplink”insufficient influence/a” in politics and urged the rich to donate to political efforts to preserve their position atop the food chain.
Griffin has given $1.05 million to Restore Our Future (supporting Mitt Romney) and $1 million to American Crossroads. His wife, Anne, gave $30,000 to the Campaign for Primary Accountability.
FreedomWorks, the conservative nonprofit organization, contributed $2.07 million to its super PAC, FreedomWorks for America. The group is run by former Rep. Dick Armey and was instrumental in organizing the original Tea Party protests in 2009.
The super PAC has been active in Republican Senate primaries backing Richard Mourdock’s successful campaign to beat Sen. Dick Lugar in Indiana. The group also also thrown its weight behind Ted Cruz in Texas and Don Stenberg in Nebraska. Stenberg lost his primary to state Sen. Deb Fischer and Cruz faces a run-off election against Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst. The group is also spending money to defeat Sen. Orrin Hatch in Utah.
Jon Stryker (D)
Jon Stryker, an architect and heir to the Stryker Corporation fortune, has contributed $2 million to Priorities USA Action, the super PAC supporting Barack Obama.
Stryker is worth $1.1 billion and ranks 375th on the Fortune 400 richest Americans list. He is a noted GLBT activist having donated money to groups including the Gay Lesbian Victory Fund. Stryker is also the founder of the Arcus Foundation, the largest grant maker for gay and lesbian activism in the nation.
Stryker has spent big in the past to help elect Democrats and oust Republicans from office in his home state of Michigan.
(Pictured: President Barack Obama, the candidate supported by Stryker’s contribution.)
Weaver Popcorn (R)
Weaver Popcorn, the Indiana-based popcorn maker owned by Michael Weaver, has contributed $1.9 million to American Crossroads, the super PAC founded by Republican operative Karl Rove.
The company is one of the largest popcorn companies in the United States and is best known for their Pop Weaver brand.
National Association of Realtors (I)
The National Association of Realtors, the primary trade association for realtors, has contributed $1.81 million to its own super PAC in the 2012 election cycle. The group has long been a player in congressional elections and has already spent significant amounts to help Rep. Gary Miller (R-Calif.) hold his newly redistricted seat in the 2012 elections.
Warren Stephens, Stephens Investment Holding Stephens Inc. (R)
Warren Stephens, the head of Stephens, Inc., has contributed $1.75 million to super PACs. Stephens is tied for the position of 130th richest American, according to Forbes.
Stephens has given $1.25 million to American Crossroads and $500,000 to Restore Our Future (supporting Romney).
(Pictured: Stephens, right, with President George W. Bush.)
The Morses, The Villages Other Companies (R)
H. Gary Morse, his wife, their children, the retirement community they operate, The Villages, and a number of subsidiary companies have combined to contribute $1.7 million to Restore Our Future (supporting Mitt Romney) in the 2012 election cycle.
H. Gary Morse is part of Romney’s Florida finance team and has hosted fundraisers for the former Massachusetts governor. The family’s super PAC giving has all gone to support Romney’s bid.
Through August, a series of subsidiary companies controlled by The Villages and H. Gary Morse contributed $750,000 to Restore Our Future.
Laborers’ International Union (D)
The Laborers’ International Union, which represents a half-million construction workers, has given $1.65 million to super PACs.
The union gave $1.15 million to House Majority PAC, $500,000 to Majority PAC and $5,000 to The American Worker.
Communications Workers Of America (D)
The Communications Workers of America, the largest telecommunications union in the world with a membership above 700,000, contributed $1.62 million to super PACs in the 2012 election cycle.
The union donated $1.15 million to the Communications Workers of America super PAC, $220,000 to Independent Source, $150,000 to House Majority PAC, $57,000 to Progressive Kick Independent Expenditures, and $45,000 to American Worker.
National Air Traffic Controllers Association (D)
The National Air Traffic Controllers Association has given $1.45 million to super PACs during the 2012 election cycle. The union represents 20,000 controllers, engineers and other professionals involved in air traffic control.
The union gave $1 million to Priorities USA Action (supporting Barack Obama), $350,000 to Majority PAC and $100,000 to the AFL-CIO Workers’ Voices PAC.
Republican Governors Association (R)
The Republican Governors Association, a 527 political committee currently headed by Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, gave $1.58 million to the super PAC RGA Ohio PAC.
Anne Cox Chambers (D)
Anne Cox Chambers, the owner of the media company Cox Enterprises, has contributed $1.5 million to Priorities USA Action, the super PAC backing President Barack Obama. Chambers is also the daughter of failed 1920 Democratic presidential nominee James Cox.
Chambers is the 26th richest American, according to the Forbes 400 list, with a net worth of $12 billion.
J. Joseph Ricketts (R)
J. Joseph Ricketts, the founder of TD Ameritrade and head of the family that owns the Chicago Cubs, has given $1.485 million to super PACs. Ricketts ranked 371 on emForbes’/em list of richest Americans in 2009, with a net worth of $1 billion.
He has donated $885,000 to his own super PAC, Ending Spending Action Fund, which spent all of that money to help Nebraska state Sen. Deb Fischer win the Republican Senate primary in the state. Ricketts has also given $500,000 the Campaign for Primary Accountability, a super PAC supporting challengers to incumbent Democrats and Republicans in contested congressional primary elections, and $100,000 to Restore Our Future (supporting Romney).
Ricketts a href=”http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/17/joe-ricketts-jeremiah-wright-super-pac-ad_n_1525658.html” target=”_hplink”became the focus of controversy/a in May 2012 after the New York Times revealed that he was considering a proposal to fund, through a super PAC, advertisements attacking President Barack Obama with his relationship with his former pastor, the controversial Jeremiah Wright. After the publicity Ricketts and the consultants involved all stated that they were not going forward with the plan.
Philip Geier (R)
Philip Geier, the former advertising magnate turned communications and venture capital adviser, contributed $1.35 million to super PACs. Geier previously served as CEO of the Interpublic Group of Companies, a large advertising holding company. He currently helms the Geier Group, which provides consulting services on communications, advertising and venture capital.
Geier gave $1,000,000 to American Crossroads and $350,000 to Restore Our Future (supporting Romney).
Anne Earhart (D)
Anne Catherine Getty Earhart, the granddaughter of the oil tycoon J. Paul Getty, has given $1.35 million to super PACs. Earhart received $400 million when Texaco purchased Getty Oil in 1986. She is active in environmental issues.
Earhart gave $600,000 to American Bridge 21st Century, $500,000 to Priorities USA Action (supporting President Obama) and $250,000 to House Majority PAC.
(Pictured: President Obama, the candidate Earhart’s contributions support.)
Donald Sussman (D)
Donald Sussman, the billionaire hedge fund manager and husband of Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine), has given $1.35 million to super PACs. Sussman is the founder of investment firm Paloma Partners.
Sussman has given $1.15 million to House Majority PAC, $100,000 to Women Vote! and $100,000 to Young Democrats of America.
Barbara Stiefel (D)
Barbara Stiefel, a Florida-based philanthropist and Democratic Party donor, has given $1.3 million to super PACs.
She has given $1.05 million to Priorities USA Action (supporting Obama) and $250,000 to Women Vote!
(Pictured: Barack Obama, the candidate supported by Stiefel’s contributions.)
Leo Linbeck (I)
Leo Linbeck, the Houston construction mogul, has given $1.26 million to the Campaign for Primary Accountability, a super PAC opposing both incumbent Democrats and Republicans facing primary challenges.
Julian Robertson (R)
Julian Robertson, the hedge fund titan and founder of Tiger Management, contributed $1.25 million to Restore Our Future (supporting Romney) in the current election cycle. Robertson is ranked 166 on the emForbes/em list of richest Americans, with a net worth of $2.4 billion.
Peter Angelos (D)
Peter Angelos, the noted trial lawyer and owner of the Baltimore Orioles, has given $1.225 million to super PACs.
Angelos gave $575,000 to Majority PAC, $500,000 to Priorities USA Action and $150,000 to House Majority PAC.