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a hedge fund billionaire who is heavily self-funding his presidential run, says he would like to see Citizens United repealed.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.

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate