Late Sunday night, the Paul Ryan-tied “Congressional Leadership Fund” Super PAC announced that it will spend over $10 million in support of Republican House candidates. Like all Super PACs, the group’s ability to spend such massive amounts is based on its ability to collect unlimited contributions.
So where does CLF’s money come from? The three largest donors to CLF during this election cycle have all chipped in $1 million each. Two of them are prominent Wall Street hedge fund managers, Paul Singer and Julian Robertson.
The third isn’t a person, but is rather an energy company. Chevron has taken advantage of the Citizens United decision, which allows corporations to make unlimited political contributions, to donate $3 million to Republican Super PACs this year. Its agenda is clear: Stopping the Clean Power Plan and preventing America from moving away from the dirty fossil fuels that make them so much money. Other large donations to CLF include $500,000 from Hushang Ansary (chairman of two oil infrastructure parts manufacturers), and $500,000 from Warren Stephens (CEO of an investment bank that deals in fossil fuel exploration and development).
Citizens United has allowed corporate special interests and their leaders to spend unlimited money in our elections. Americans should know that when these Republican ads come to town, Big Oil and Wall Street are the ones picking up the tab.