Jon M. Huntsman, Sr.
Total given: $2,229,539 R
Jon M. Huntsman, Sr. donated over $2 million to the pro-Huntsman Our Destiny PAC for his son’s unsuccessful presidential bid. Huntsman the elder is a well-known philanthropist and businessman who joined with his brother, Blaine, to found Huntsman Container Corporation in 1970. It was there that he began to make his mark on the container industry: every time you tear a McDonald’s hamburger from its cardboard clamshell box, give a thought to Huntsman, Sr. By the 1990s he had built up Huntsman Corp, a global chemical company and, more recently, he collaborated with Bain Capital alumni Robert C. Gay to form a new private equity firm, Huntsman Gay Global Capital. Though Jon Huntsman, Jr. couldn’t make it past the New Hampshire primary this election year, his father may be moved to support him again should he choose to run in 2016.
Jon M. Huntsman Sr.
Total Given: $2,436,300 D
Jeffery Katzenberg stands out here as the sole entertainment businessman. As an executive at Touchstone he presided over films such as Good Morning, Vietnam and TV shows such as Golden Girls. Moving to Disney he switched over to popular children’s entertainment, producing fare such as The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King, and capping off his time there by closing the merger between Disney and Pixar. Since 2004 he’s been CEO at Dreamworks animation. He ranks among the most dedicated of President Barack Obama’s “bundlers,” having contributed $6.6 million in total since Obama’s first presidential bid, according to a report in the New York Times.
Jeffery Katzenberg (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/PictureGroup) via AP IMAGES
Total given: $2,800,933 R
A portrait of the donor as a (very) young man: John Ramsey, 21-years-old, studies economics and finance at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas. Not surprisingly, he’s the only student there to have founded a super PAC. Ramsey put the millions he inherited from his grandfather’s fortune toward starting the Liberty for All Super PAC, according to an interview with Bloomberg News. Stressing his interest in spreading the wealth around several races, Ramsey’s first candidate of choice was Kentucky Republican anti-tax activist Thomas Massie, who, with help from Ramsey, won the state’s 4th congressional district. Ramsey is a major Ron Paul supporter, looking to spread the gospel of libertarian revolution.
John Ramsey (AP Photo/Roger Alford)
Total given: $2,860,900 R
One of the business world’s most established investors is also one of its most openly religious. Foster Friess, head of Friess Associates, splashes quotes from Galatians on his website and identifies himself as a steadfast born-again Christian. Though he threw his support over to Mitt Romney once the former Massachusetts governor became the presumptive nominee, it was Friess’s dollars that had kept Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum in the primary race long enough to enjoy a brief stint as frontrunner. The political goals underlying Friess’s contributions aren’t hard to discern: He supports a more hawkish foreign policy—presumably sharing the views of Sheldon Adelson (see No. 1) on Israel—and, most importantly, is a staunch social conservative on issues like abortion and gay marriage. Friess made headlines for an interview with NBC News’s Andrea Mitchell in which he dismissed contraception and said that “back in my days, they’d use Bayer aspirin for contraceptives. The gals put it between their knees, and it wasn’t that costly.”
Foster Friess (Stefanie Keenan/WireImage)
Total given: $3,220,238 D
Unlike many of the less-than-public-figures making this list, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg isn’t hard to pick out of a crowd of suits. After working his way though college at Johns Hopkins, Bloomberg found a job at Salomon Brothers in the mid-60s. Within a decade he had become a partner, and eventually started his own information-tech company, Bloomberg L.P., which boomed throughout the late-80s and is still going strong. His jump from mogul to mayor has only increased his celebrity. Bloomberg has weighed-in on national politics from time to time, coming out in favor of Obama’s endorsement of marriage equality while reprimanding both candidates on their silence on gun control amid the shooting in Aurora, Colo., this summer.
Michael Bloomberg (Joshua Roberts/Reuters)