Following the money behind Mike Pence
By The Sunlight Foundation
Donald Trump has chosen his second in command in his race for the White House: Indiana Gov. Mike Pence.
Republicans often tout that Pence’s long resume and his reputation for hard work and the “polite demeanor of his Midwest upbringing. After joining Congress in 2000, Pence served as chairman of the conservative House Republican Study Committee – the largest caucus in the House – during the 109th congress and after six terms, became governor of the Hoosier state in 2012. Pence will drop his reelection bid for an opportunity to become America’s vice president.
Now that the GOP convention is over let’s take a look at a few of his big donors and involvement in Republican fundraising over the years.
Funders and fundraising
According to state campaign finance data from the National Institute for Money in State Politics, some of Pence’s biggest donors include Dean White – a billionaire real estate mogul, who gave $775,000 – and Columbus-based Anthony Moravec – who owns Blairex Laboratories and gave $431,735. The late Bob J. Perry, a GOP megadonor, gave $220,000. Pence also received $2.6 million from the Republican Governors Association’s PAC.
During his 2015 run, more than 62 percent of Pence’s campaign contributions came from contributions of $10,000 or more.
(Note: there are no contribution limits from individuals, PACs or party committees to candidates for statewide office in Indiana. Corporations and labor unions can give a max of $5,000.)
He has utilized a tactic known as “PAC shell games” – which allowed a supportive super PAC, RGA Right Direction, to skirt limits on corporate giving in Indiana. The super PAC, funded by the Republican Governor’s Association (RGA), gave $1 million to Pence’s run for governor. Super PACs cannot donate directly to federal campaigns, but since Indiana state law allows for unlimited PAC contributions to candidates, the RGA still managed to make up a third of Pence’s entire warchest.
Pence has also received plenty of money from the Koch brothers, including $300,000 directly from David Koch in the past four years.
His affiliate PAC – Principles Exalt A Nation – took inspiration from Proverbs 14:34 of the Old Testament.
When it comes to giving to candidates for national office, Pence has made a few personal contributions of more than $200, the lowest amount itemized on reports to the Federal Election Commission (FEC). According to OpenSecrets, Pence gave $1,000 to former Rep. Judy Biggert, R-Ill., in 2009, $1,000 to Luke Wayne Puckett who challenged then Rep. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., and $2,000 to former Senator Jim Demint, R-S.C., in 2004. Additionally, in 2004 the Mike Pence Committee donated $1,000 to former U.S. Senator David Vitter, R-La.
Political Party Time with Mike Pence
And last but not least, some of Pence’s most notable fundraisers featured on Party Time:
- Pence held two fundraisers on a yacht, named the Gangplank on the Potomac.
- Pence benefited from a fundraiser at Donald Trump’s golf course in 2011.
- Pence had at least seven fundraisers at the Capitol Hill Club.
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