FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 25, 2019

CONTACT: Jordan Libowitz
202-408-5565 | [email protected]

CREW Exposes Dark Money Donors including Thiel, DeVos and Adelson

Washington —  Following a historic victory against dark money by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), Americans for Job Security (AJS) has released its donors from 2010 through 2012, including major contributions from Peter Thiel, Richard and Helen DeVos, Sheldon and Miriam Adelson, and Robert McNair, as well as contributions from Trump appointees like Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, former SBA Administrator Linda McMahon and former-Labor Secretary nominee Andy Puzder. Other major donors included major players in the dark money world such as the Wellspring Committee, the Koch-connected Center to Protect Patient Rights, Crossroads GPS and Michigan Citizens for Fiscal Responsibility, major corporations like Wynn Resorts, Bass Pro Shops and Quicken Loans, PR firms like the DCI Group and government contractors like Hensel Phelps Construction.

“This is a major victory for transparency and the rule of law,” CREW Executive Director Noah Bookbinder said. “This is the first major release of dark money sources in the post-Citizens United era, a rare and long overdue victory in the fight against the illegal use of dark money in politics.”

Notable donors include:

  • Peter Thiel – $500,000
  • Richard and Helen Devos – $2 million
  • Sheldon and Miriam Adelson – $500,000
  • Robert McNair – $1,000,000

Notable corporate donors include:

  • Continental Resources – $1 million
  • Devon Energy and Devon Energy Production Corp – $3 million
  • Hensel Phelps Construction – $2.93 million
  • Penn National Gaming – $737,000
  • US Sugar Corp – $750,000
  • Wynn Resorts – $500,000
  • Bass Pro Shops – $50,000
  • Quicken Loans – $250,000

Previously known donors include Anthony Pritzker, Eli Broad, John Fisher and Charles Schwab. Schwab was known to have given millions to AJS, but the new information shows that he gave an additional $2.15 million.

“It’s not a surprise to see that AJS’s donors included some of the richest people in America, major political players, corporations and PR firms, but it is still shocking to see them all listed out,” Bookbinder said. “These people tried to get around the law and keep their massive political money secret. It took a long time, but transparency and the rule of law prevailed.”

In 2012, CREW filed a Federal Election Commission (FEC) complaint against AJS alleging it failed to register as a political committee despite AJS’s extensive campaign activity. More than two years later, after the FEC’s general counsel concluded that AJS had likely violated the law, three Republican commissioners still blocked enforcement by deadlocking the Commission. The deadlock led the FEC to dismiss CREW’s complaint. CREW then sued the FEC, and a court ordered the FEC to reopen the case in 2016. Over the next two years, CREW filed two additional lawsuits due to the FEC’s inaction. Last month, CREW received notice that the FEC reached a conciliation agreement with AJS, requiring them to register as a political committee and disclose their donors, which they did today.

Click here for the list of names and donations, as well as AJS’s expenditures

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Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is a nonprofit legal watchdog group dedicated to holding public officials accountable for their actions. For more information, please visit www.citizensforethics.org or contact Jordan Libowitz at 202-408-5565 or [email protected]