Top 5 Super PAC Backers for Democrats, GOP by Share of Net Worth

Top wealthy Republicans contribute more than Democrats to political causes but not a higher percentage of their wealth

Bill Maher at Hard Rock Live on Sunday. (Photo: AP) Bill Maher at Hard Rock Live on Sunday. (Photo: AP)

It’s certainly not news that super PACs, especially those favoring Republican causes, have raised lot of money from wealthy contributors during this election cycle. But as a share of their massive wealth, the totals for most big-dollar donors amount to a mere pittance.

A study released Wednesday by Wealth-X provides some perspective on the political contributions of ultrawealthy Americans. The top ultrahigh-net-worth donors give on average less than a quarter percent of their wealth to political causes.

Wealth-X found that major donors to Republican causes gave an average of 4% of their wealth to charity and less than 1% to political causes.

In contrast, their Democratic counterparts gave on average more than 5% of their wealth to philanthropic causes and less than half a percent to political ones.

Entertainment industry moguls continue to be big supporters of the Democrats, Wealth-X noted in a statement.

The statement included a comparison of the contributions to super PACs by the top five Republican and top five Democratic donors, measured in relation to their net worth.

Top Republican super PAC Donors, by net worth and by percentage of net worth for political donations:

  • Bobby Jack Perry, owner of Perry Homes, $520 million; 2.2%
  • Rocco A. Ortenzio, health care entrepreneur, $88 million; 1.1%
  • Harlan Rogers Crow, head of Crow Holdings, $310 million; 1%
  • Foster Friess, head of Friess Associates, $520 million; 0.5%
  • Jon Huntsman Sr., founder of Huntsman Corp. and Hunstman Gay Global Capital, $700 million; 0.3%

Top Democratic super PAC Donors:

  • Bill Maher, talk show host, $40 million; 2.5%
  • Stephen M. Silberstein, founder of Innovative Interfaces, $35 million; 1.4%
  • Morgan Freeman, actor, $95 million; 1.1%
  • Barbara A. Stiefel, political fundraiser and philanthropist, $120 million; 0.9%
  • Frederick J. Eychaner, media entrepreneur, $500 million; 0.6%

“While no one disputes that large amounts of money have gone into the 2012 campaign season, when the donations are compared to the net worth of the UHNWIs, they are minor,” Wealth-X President David Friedman said in the statement.

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