Corporate donors pump billions into 2022 US midterm elections

The 2022 US midterm elections have seen a vast influx of corporate money into key races across the country.

According to an analysis of Federal Election Commission data released last week by the Washington Post, the total volume of campaign donations for the current election cycle is nearly double the 2018 total. Data from AdImpact, an ad tracking company, put the figure at $7.5 billion. That’s almost as much as the $9 billion spent during the 2020 presidential election cycle.

The flood of money poured into the campaigns of the Democratic and Republican parties. Under conditions of an escalating war on Russia, near double-digit inflation, an ongoing pandemic, a looming recession, and the Republican Party’s transformation into a platform for violence fascist while the Democrats are the leading imperialist war party, elections are increasingly devoid of any real democratic content.

They have the character of a financial arms race between rival factions of the ruling class, with the major donors investing tens and hundreds of millions of their vast fortunes to install bribed politicians of their choice into positions of power.

Leading the pack is George Soros, who donated a total of $128.5 million, mostly to Democracy PAC II, a Democratic Party-aligned super PAC (political action committee) created by Soros. himself in 2021. Soros is the only listed PAC donor.

George Soros, Chairman, Soros Fund Management, United States, during the session ‘Redesigning the International Monetary System: A Davos Debate’ at the 2011 Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 27. [Photo by World Economic Forum / CC BY-SA 2.0]

He also oversees an extensive network of other PACs and organizations through which he funnels money into the Democratic Party. The Soros-backed Democratic Policy Reform Fund has donated $25 million to Democratic candidates.

The top Republican donors are Richard and Elizabeth Uihlein, the billionaire owners of Uline, a private shipping and packaging company. Together, they’ve given $70 million to Republican candidates this election cycle, in addition to the tens of millions they’ve given to the GOP in previous elections.

Richard and Elizabeth Uhlein. [Photo: Uline (Screengrab WSWS)]

They support far-right politics and politicians, promoting fascistic candidates such as Ted Cruz and Donald Trump. More recently, their political activities have included attacking anti-COVID policies, including calling on the Wisconsin Legislature to impeach Gov. Tony Evers over his long-lost lockdown orders.

Other major Republican donors include Kenneth Griffin, founder and owner of Citadel and Citadel Securities, two of the world’s largest investment groups. Griffin has donated nearly $66 million, mostly for House and Senate races across the country.

Kenneth C. Griffin, founder and owner of Citadel and Citadel Securities. [Photo by Paul Elledge / CC BY-SA 4.0]

Jeffrey Yass, a wealthy investor and prominent member of the Cato Institute, has donated more than $48 million to Republican candidates. The Cato Institute is a right-wing libertarian think tank founded by, among others, billionaire Charles Koch.

Another top Republican donor is Stephen Schwarzman, CEO of Blackstone Group. He donated $32.7 million for this election cycle.

Stephen A. Schwarzman, President and CEO, The Blackstone Group, USA, at the 2008 World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland, January 24, 2008 [Photo by World Economic Forum/Remy Steinegger / CC BY-SA 2.0]

While the list of major donors is overwhelmingly aligned with Republicans, the Democratic Party has received its share of support from corporate oligarchs beyond Soros.

The second largest Democratic donor is Sam Bankman-Fried, a billionaire investor and founder of cryptocurrency exchange FTX. He has donated more than $39 million, including $27 million to the Protect Our Future PAC, an organization that apparently exists to support policies that will help prevent another pandemic.

Of course, the Biden administration and the Democratic-controlled Congress pursued essentially the same “let it go” policies as Trump and the Republicans, allowing over a million Americans to die and countless more to die. be permanently scarred by Long COVID in the interests of corporate profit and the stock market.

The Democratic Party has also received large donations from unions such as the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners, which has given more than $31.4 million to Democratic candidates and Democratic Party-aligned groups, according to the fundraising tracker. of Open Secrets campaign. The carpenters’ union is closely followed by the National Education Association, which handed over $31 million.

Other major labor donors include the American Federation of Teachers, the Service Employees International Union and the Communication Workers of America, which each donated $10 million.

Transportation industry unions have donated $10 million to Democratic candidates and PACs, even as the Biden administration and Congress have worked to impose business-friendly contracts on railroad workers who fail to meet demands. workers with regard to holidays and paid sick leave. .

Teachers’ unions, for their part, have worked hand-in-hand with the two major business parties to isolate and sell strikes by educators motivated by opposition to the reopening of unsafe schools amid the ongoing pandemic.

Campaign finance data for this election cycle further demonstrates that the Democratic Party is not a party of labor or democracy, but a party of Wall Street and the US military intelligence apparatus.

In this year’s Republican primaries, the Democratic Party invested millions of dollars in ads designed to boost the campaigns of far-right pro-Trump deniers and defeat more moderate Republicans, cynically calculating that the Democratic candidates would would fare better against Trump cronies in the November general election. Not only has this exposed the bankruptcy of the Democratic Party and its inability to advance policies that meet the needs of working people and defend their democratic rights, but it appears to have contributed to a Republican push that could result in the takeover of one or more both houses of Congress and many key state offices by Trump allies.

He also exposed pseudo-left organizations, such as the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), which promote “progressive” cheats like Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez based on the lie that the Democratic Party can be pushed to the left.