Forbes - Billionaires

These Billionaires Are Funding Legislators Who Refused To Certify The Election

At least 41 billionaires gave money over the last four months to legislators who voted against certifying the presidential election, according to a review of Federal Election Commission records filed in July.  

Among the donors: former UFC owners Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta, oil baron Ray Lee Hunt and PayPal cofounder Peter Thiel. In total, the benefactors along with their spouses contributed about $1 million to the committees of roughly one-third of the 147 representatives and senators who objected to certifying the election. 

About half of the money came from just seven donors: the Fertittas and their spouses, Hilcorp Energy CEO Jeff Hildebrand, Franklin Resources shareholder Charles Johnson, and the wife of Charles Schwab, Helen. All of them made six-figure contributions this year to a joint-fundraising committee called Take Back The House 2022. 

According to a spokesperson for House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, that committee shuttles donations to House Republicans who received less than 56% of the vote in 2020, or who received an average of less than 56% of votes for the last two election cycles. Take Back The House is funding more than 50 House Republicans. Typically, donors do not have a say where their contributions go once they’ve sent their money to a joint-fundraising committee. Instead, it’s all divvied up according to a preset formula. 

The biggest beneficiary among this group was McCarthy, who is in the process of forming a committee to investigate the January 6 attacks on the Capitol. For the billionaires, their contributions amounted to pocket change. Candidate committees cannot accept contributions of more than $2,900 per election, and leadership PACs can’t take more than $5,000 per year. 

About 60% of the donors also contributed to Donald Trump’s reelection campaign. Roughly 20% live in Texas, and nearly 30% built their fortunes in finance. 

When asked for comment on their contributions, most billionaires did not respond. Two Minnesotans, hearing-aid tycoon Bill Austin and media mogul Stanley Hubbard defended their gifts to Representatives Jim Hagedorn and Michelle Fischbach. In a statement, Hubbard said that he and his wife do not agree with the votes against certifying the presidential election but do “respect the other good work Representatives Hagedorn and Fischbach do.” Austin expressed a similar sentiment. “We unequivocally denounce the actions of the criminals who stormed the Capitol and put lawmakers, law enforcement and Americans at risk,” he said in a statement. “It has always been important to us to be involved in the democratic process, and that is why we make personal donations to political groups and support lawmakers in both parties.” 

Money manager Cliff Asness was so outraged by the events of January 6 that he tweeted in support of Trump’s impeachment. Nonetheless, he and his wife recently contributed to Bice, Malliotakis and Beth Van Duyne, who all refused to certify Biden’s victory. In May, Dallas billionaire Kenny Troutt gave money to two Texas congressman who objected to certifying the election. A representative for Troutt said that “nothing about the vote” was relevant to Troutt’s decision to donate to those lawmakers. California tech billionaire Jack Dangermond, who founded mapping software firm Esri, donated to Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign before giving to two representatives who did not certify the win.

New York City billionaire John Catsimatidis defended his decision to contribute to Rep. McCarthy and Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana. “I give to common sense Republicans as well as common sense Democrats,” Catsimatidis wrote in an email. “Trying to relate my contribution to January 6 is not being realistic. It has nothing to do with it.”

Here is the full list of billionaire donors: 

Methodology: Forbes reviewed second quarter candidate committee records filed with the Federal Election Commission in July, as well as recent leadership PAC records, and counted contributions of $500 and more made to committees. Some contributions were labeled in committee records as transfers from other joint-fundraising committees.

Net worth: $1.3 billion *

Donated to: Rep. Lance Gooden, Texas ($5,000); Rep. Beth Van Duyne, Texas ($2,900)


Net worth: $10.2 billion

Donated to: Rep. Steve Scalise, Louisiana ($5,800)


Net worth: $1.4 billion

Donated to: Rep. Stephanie Bice, Oklahoma ($11,600); Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, New York ($11,600); Rep. Beth Van Duyne, Texas ($11,600)


Net worth: $2.3 billion

Donated to: Rep. Jim Hagedorn, Minnesota ($11,600); Rep. Michelle Fischbach, Minnesota ($11,600)


Net worth: $2.5 billion

Donated to: Rep. Scott Franklin, Florida ($5,800); Rep. Carlos Gimenez, Florida ($5,800)


Net worth: $2.8 billion

Donated to: Rep. Kevin McCarthy, California ($5,800) and to McCarthy’s leadership PAC ($5,000); Sen. John Kennedy, Louisiana ($2,900)


Net worth: $6.1 billion

Donated to: Rep. Ken Calvert, California ($5,800); Rep. Jay Obernolte, California ($5,800); Rep. Dan Bishop, North Carolina ($500); Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer, Missouri ($500)


Net worth: $1.4 billion

Donated to: Rep. Beth Van Duyne, Texas ($5,800); Rep. Michael Burgess, Texas ($2,000)


Net worth: $2.5 billion

Donated to: Rep. Kevin McCarthy, California ($11,600), and to McCarthy’s leadership PAC ($10,000); Rep. John R. Carter, Texas ($5,425).

The following received $1,921 each: Rep. Bob Good, Virginia; Rep. Burgess Owens, Utah; Rep. Carlos Gimenez, Florida; Rep. Dan Bishop, North Carolina; Rep. David Schweikert, Arizona; Rep. Devin Nunes, California; Rep. Jacob LaTurner, Kansas; Rep. Jeff Van Drew, New Jersey; Rep. Lee Zeldin, New York; Rep. Madison Cawthorn, North Carolina; Rep. Matt Rosendale, Montana; Rep. Michelle Fischbach, Minnesota; Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, New York; Rep. Richard Hudson, North Carolina; Rep. Roger Williams, Texas; Rep. Scott Franklin, Florida; Rep. Scott Perry, Pennsylvania; Rep. Stephanie Bice, Oklahoma; Rep. Troy Nehls, Texas; Rep. Yvette Herrell, New Mexico; Rep. Jim Hagedorn, Minnesota; Rep. Doug LaMalfa, California; Rep. Darrell Issa, California; Rep. Mike Garcia, California


Net worth: $2.5 billion

Donated to: Rep. Kevin McCarthy, California ($11,600), and to McCarthy’s leadership PAC ($10,000); Rep. John Carter, Texas ($4,820); Rep. Jeff Van Drew, New Jersey ($4,820).

The following received $6,400 each: Rep. Bob Good, Virginia; Rep. Burgess Owens, Utah; Rep. Carlos Gimenez, Florida; Rep. Dan Bishop, North Carolina; Rep. David Schweikert, Arizona; Rep. Devin Nunes, California; Rep. Doug LaMalfa, California; Rep. Jacob LaTurner, Kansas; Rep. Lee Zeldin, New York; Rep. Madison Cawthorn, North Carolina; Rep. Matt Rosendale, Montana; Rep. Michelle Fischbach, Minnesota; Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, New York; Rep. Richard Hudson, North Carolina; Rep. Roger Williams, Texas; Rep. Scott Franklin, Florida; Rep. Scott Perry, Pennsylvania; Rep. Stephanie Bice, Oklahoma; Rep. Troy Nehls, Texas; Rep. Yvette Herrell, New Mexico; Rep. Darrell Issa, California; Rep. Jim Hagedorn, Minnesota;  Rep. Mike Garcia, California


Net worth: $5.8 billion

Donated to: Rep. Kevin McCarthy, California ($11,600), and to McCarthy’s leadership PAC ($10,000)


Net worth: $1.1 billion

Donated to: Rep. Mike Garcia, California ($10,000)


Net worth: $2.3 billion

Donated to: Sen. Rick Scott, Florida ($5,800)


Net worth: $1.3 billion

Donated to: Rep. Roger Williams, Texas ($5,800)


Net worth: $16 billion

Donated to: Rep. Stephanie Bice, Oklahoma ($5,800); Rep. Mike Bost, Illinois ($5,800); Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, New York ($5,800); Sen. Rick Scott, Florida ($5,800); Rep. Beth Van Duyne, Texas ($5,800)


Net worth: $10.9 billion

Donated to: Rep. Steve Scalise, Louisiana ($5,800)


Net worth: $1.9 billion

Donated to: Rep. Lauren Boebert, Colorado ($13,160); Rep. Kevin McCarthy, California ($5,800), and to McCarthy’s leadership PAC ($5,000).

The following received $1,561 each: Rep. Bob Good, Virginia; Rep. Burgess Owens, Utah; Rep. Carlos Gimenez, Florida; Rep. Dan Bishop, North Carolina; Rep. Darrell Issa, California; Rep. David Schweikert, Arizona; Rep. Devin Nunes, California; Rep. Doug LaMalfa, California; Rep. Jeff Van Drew, New Jersey; Rep. John Carter, Texas; Rep. Lee Zeldin, New York; Rep. Madison Cawthorn, North Carolina; Rep. Matt Rosendale, Montana; Rep. Michelle Fischbach, Minnesota; Rep. Mike Garcia, California; Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, New York; Rep. Richard Hudson, North Carolina; Rep. Scott Franklin, Florida; Rep. Stephanie Bice, Oklahoma; Rep. Troy Nehls, Texas; Rep. Yvette Herrell, New Mexico; Rep. Jim Hagedorn, Minnesota; Rep. Beth Van Duyne, Texas; Rep. Jacob LaTurner, Kansas; Rep. Roger Williams, Texas; Rep. Scott Perry, Pennsylvania


Net worth: $1.9 billion

Donated to: Rep. Michelle Fischbach, Minnesota ($11,600); Rep. Jim Hagedorn, Minnesota ($11,600)


Net worth: $4.5 billion

Donated to: Rep. August Pfluger, Texas ($11,600); Rep. Pete Sessions, Texas ($11,600); Rep. Roger Williams, Texas ($11,600); Rep. Michael Burgess, Texas ($5,800)


Net worth: $5.2 billion

Donated to: Rep. Jeff Van Drew, New Jersey ($2,900).

The following received $5,800 each: Rep. Beth Van Duyne, Texas; Rep. Bob Good, Virginia; Rep. Burgess Owens, Utah; Rep. Carlos Gimenez, Florida; Rep. Dan Bishop, North Carolina; Rep. Darrell Issa, California; Rep. David Schweikert, Arizona; Rep. Devin Nunes, California; Rep. Doug LaMalfa, California; Rep. Jacob LaTurner, Kansas; Rep. Jim Hagedorn, Minnesota; Rep. John Carter, Texas; Rep. Lauren Boebert, Colorado; Rep. Lee Zeldin, New York; Rep. Madison Cawthorn, North Carolina; Rep. Matt Rosendale, Montana; Rep. Michelle Fischbach, Minnesota; Rep. Mike Garcia, California; Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, New York; Rep. Richard Hudson, North Carolina; Rep. Roger Williams, Texas; Rep. Scott Franklin, Florida; Rep. Scott Perry, Pennsylvania; Rep. Stephanie Bice, Oklahoma; Rep. Troy Nehls, Texas; Rep. Yvette Herrell, New Mexico


Net worth: $6 billion

Donated to: Rep. Vicky Hartzler, Missouri ($500)


Net worth: $9.6 billion

Donated to: Rep. Steve Scalise, Louisiana ($5,800); Rep. Bob Good, Virginia ($2,900)


Net worth: $6.6 billion

Donated to: Sen. John Kennedy, Louisiana ($5,800)


Net worth: $9 billion

Donated to: Rep. Scott Perry, Pennsylvania ($5,800); Rep. Matt Rosendale, Montana ($5,600)


Spouse’s net worth: $1.9 billion

Donated to: Rep. Stephanie Bice, Oklahoma ($5,800); Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, New York ($5,800); Rep. Beth Van Duyne, Texas ($5,800)


Spouse’s net worth: $1.5 billion

Donated to: Rep. Debbie Lesko, Arizona ($2,500)


Net worth: $1.4 billion

Donated to: Rep. Robert Aderholt, Alabama ($2,900)


Net worth: $1.7 billion

Donated to: Rep. Tom Rice, South Carolina ($5,000); Rep. Matt Rosendale, Montana ($2,900)


Net worth: $5.7 billion

Donated to: Rep. Byron Donalds, Florida ($11,600)  


Net worth: $3.6 billion

Donated to: Rep. Mike Garcia, California ($5,800)


Net worth: $3.6 billion

Donated to: Sen. Josh Hawley, Missouri ($10,000)


Net worth: $2 billion

Donated to: Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas ($11,600); Rep. Darrell Issa, California ($10,000)


Spouse’s net worth: $11.2 billion

Donated to: Rep. Kevin McCarthy, California ($5,800), and to McCarthy’s leadership PAC ($5,000).

The following received $1,833 each: Rep. Beth Van Duyne, Texas; Rep. Bob Good, Virginia; Rep. Burgess Owens, Utah; Rep. Carlos Gimenez, Florida; Rep. Dan Bishop, North Carolina; Rep. Darrell Issa, California; Rep. David Schweikert, Arizona; Rep. Devin Nunes, California; Rep. Doug LaMalfa, California; Rep. Jacob LaTurner, Kansas; Rep. Jeff Van Drew, New Jersey; Rep. Jim Hagedorn, Minnesota; Rep. John Carter, Texas; Rep. Lee Zeldin, New York; Rep. Madison Cawthorn, North Carolina; Rep. Matt Rosendale, Montana; Rep. Michelle Fischbach, Minnesota; Rep. Mike Garcia, California; Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, New York; Rep. Richard Hudson, North Carolina; Rep. Roger Williams, Texas; Rep. Scott Franklin, Florida; Rep. Scott Perry, Pennsylvania; Rep. Stephanie Bice, Oklahoma; Rep. Troy Nehls, Texas; Rep. Yvette Herrell, New Mexico.


Net worth: $4.3 billion

Donated to: Rep. Beth Van Duyne, Texas ($5,800); and to Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s leadership PAC ($5,000)


Net worth: $2.8 billion

Donated to: Rep. Stephanie Bice, Oklahoma ($5,800); Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, New York ($5,800); Rep. Burgess Owens, Utah ($2,800); Rep. Steve Scalise, Louisiana ($5,800); Rep. Beth Van Duyne, Texas ($5,800); Rep. Tom Rice, South Carolina ($2,900)


Net worth: $6.4 billion

Donated to: Rep. Lauren Boebert, Colorado ($5,800); Rep. Madison Cawthorn, North Carolina ($2,900); Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas ($2,900); Rep. Byron Donalds, Florida ($2,900); Rep. Elise Stefanik, New York ($2,900); Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, Georgia ($2,900)


Net worth: $4.7 billion

Donated to: Rep. Ted Budd, North Carolina ($2,900); Rep. Kevin McCarthy, California ($5,800), and to McCarthy’s leadership PAC ($5,000)


Net worth: $1.1 billion

Donated to: Rep. Jim Banks, Indiana ($5,800)


Net worth: $1.5 billion

Donated to: Rep. Lance Gooden, Texas ($5,800); Rep. August Pfluger, Texas ($5,800)


Net worth: $3.5 billion

Donated to: Rep. Kevin McCarthy ($11,600), and to McCarthy’s leadership PAC ($10,000)


Net worth: $5.6 billion

Donated to: Rep. Ted Budd, North Carolina ($2,900)


Net worth: $1.7 billion

Donated to: Rep. John Carter, Texas ($5,800)


Net worth: $12 billion

Donated to: Rep. Ted Budd, North Carolina ($2,900)


Net worth: $1.3 billion

Donated to: Rep. Daniel Meuser, Pennsylvania ($500)


Net worth: $5.6 billion

Donated to: Rep. Kevin McCarthy, California ($5,800), and to McCarthy’s leadership PAC ($5,000); Sen. Rick Scott, Florida ($800)


* From Real-Time Billionaires list as of July 21, 2021.

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