There are basically five ways for money to flow into politics; well, six if you include the revolving door -- oh wait -- there's also the spousal side door and family back door — so that makes seven. The following is a list of the top 10 individuals who donate to 527s, nonprofit, tax-exempt organizations with the primary purpose of influencing elections. Data was collected from the Center for Responsive Politics on OpenSecrets.org, which supplies a wealth — pun intended — of information.
10. Anne E. Delaney
Delaney is an artist and philanthropist from New York, NY donating $520,000 to Emily’s List Non-Federal. She is also a board member of the New York Women’s Foundation and the Ms. Foundation for Women, Inc.
You’ll see many donors to Emily’s List in these top ten, their tagline is “electing women to create progressive change.” EMILY is an acronym for Early Money is Like Yeast. Pro choice is a primary issue for the group.
Not counting donations to Emily’s list under $200, outside donations totaling almost $8,00,000 mostly were spent against Republican candidates.
9. Fred J. Eychaner
A resident of Chicago, he has $550,000 going to Emily’s List Non-Federal. He founded Newsweb Corporation, which publishes ethnic and alternative newspapers. He is a staunch supporter of President Obama, the Clintons, the Kennedy Center, and the Joffrey Ballet -- among others. He also contributed $50,000 to the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund.
8. Richard Uihlein
Richard is from Lake Forest, Illinois. He has given $600,000 to America’s PAC, whose tagline is “Electing Conservatives and Defeating Liberals Since 1983.”
ChicagoBusiness.com has him listed as the biggest tea party donor in Illinois. Besides APAC, he also supports FreedomWorks, Senate Conservatives Action, and the 2012 Scott Walker anti-recall campaign. Uline is a shipping supply company; you may have seen their extensive catalog.
7. Michael & Diane Gooch
From Rumson, NJ, Michael and Diane have contributed $625,000 to Strong New Jersey with even stronger conservative viewpoints. They are involved with Two River Times newspaper and the GFI Group, which provides inter-dealer financial services. In 2008, Michael was the New Jersey financial chair for Rudy Guiliani's presidential campaign.
6. Terrence R. Caster
A resident of San Diego, CA with $645,000 going to the ActRight Fund, which as one may accurately guess is a conservative umbrella group. He is the chair of Caster Companies, which develops real estate, including commercial offices, industrial parks, build-to-suits, and self-storage facilities. He also formed Serving Hands International, an organization that serves the impoverished around the world providing much needed necessities though Christian organizations.
5. M. Quinn DeLaney
DeLaney hails from Oakland, Calif., and has $650,000 going to Emily’s List Non-Federal. She is a member of the Tides Foundation board of directors and is half of a power couple with real estate developer Wayne Jordan, who was a major Obama backer. Some of their other connections are to Priorities USA Actions, Vote Hope, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Akonadi Foundation, and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
4. Judith Ann Corrente
Judith has $750,000 going to Emily’s List Non-Federal. She is married to Willem Kooyker, chair of Bleinheim Capital Management.
Corrente is a board member of Lawrenceville School, a private high school in New Jersey, board secretary of The Metropolitan Opera in New York City, and a trustee of the Central Park Conservancy. Both she and her husband were active in President Obama’s re-election campaign, and the 2012 Democratic National Convention.
3. Bob Perry
Perry as in Perry Homes -- and in no relation to Texas Governor Rick Perry -- has contributed $500,000 to Elephant Talk, and another $350,000 to The Movement Fund. Elephant Talk is an effort to activate the conservative and independent millennial vote. The Movement Fund is likewise a conservative 527 with Bob Perry, again, as the prime donor.
2. John M. Templeton, Jr.
Templeton's father was the billionaire John M. Templeton, Sr., who recently died at the age of 95. His father was best known for founding Templeton Investments, and awarding a yearly prize to theologians who reconcile faith with science. Junior, a Harvard Medical School graduate in 1968, gave $1,490,000 to the College Republican National Committee.
And at the top spot...
1. Frederic N. Eshelman
Eshelman is the chairman of Pharmaceutical Product Development, Inc. PPDI was a publicly-traded company until it went private in 2011. It’s website says the company consults to the biopharmaceutical industry; they have a global laboratory network, and they provide regulatory affairs strategies.
Eshelman was far and away the largest contributor to 527s in the 2012 cycle with $5,058,150. The recipient was a group called RightChange.com, an organization that actively opposes Obama.