A detailed look at top 5 donors to Obama, Romney
By Jack Gillum and Stephen Braun, AP
October 22, 2012, 12:40 am TWN
WASHINGTON--Here are the top five Obama donors:
No. 1: Jeffrey Katzenberg, 61, Hollywood film producer and chief executive of DreamWorks Animation.
Total: US$2.566 million
Katzenberg is Obama's top donor when tallying his contributions to a “super” political committee, money to Obama's campaign and the money he arranged for others to write for the president. The biggest contributions include US$2 million to the Priorities USA Action super PAC. It was founded by former White House advisers and is the key pro-Obama PAC this election cycle. Katzenberg has helped “bundle” more than US$500,000 for the president's second term, making him among the campaign's top volunteer fundraisers. He's also given more than US$66,000 to Obama's campaign and the Democratic Party. The Hollywood icon has been invited to White House events, including a state dinner. Such high-profile soirees put him in proximity earlier this year to Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping, who signed off on an overseas deal benefiting Katzenberg's studio.
No. 2: Irwin Jacobs, 78, the founder and former chairman of Qualcomm.
Total: US$2.122 million
Jacobs has given more than US$2 million to pro-Obama super PACs and about US$23,000 directly to Obama's campaign and the Democrats. But he's no newcomer to political giving: The billionaire has routinely backed San Diego-area politicians. Some of his local proposals include one backed by San Diego's mayor that would have changed the name of Qualcomm Stadium for 10 days to reflect the cellphone maker's new computer chip.
No. 3 (tie): Fred Eychaner, founder of Chicago-based alternative-newspaper publisher Newsweb Corp.
Total: US$2.066 million
Eychaner has given US$1.5 million to the Priorities USA Action super PAC. He's also given more than US$60,000 to the president's re-election committees, and he's listed as a major “bundler” for Obama, having raised at least US$500,000 for the president. Eychaner, a gay-rights activist, also has donated millions to other nonprofit groups, including more than US$1 million to the progressive EMILY's List organization. He's visited the White House several times since early 2009, according to records, and Obama appointed Eychaner to the board of trustees of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
No. 3 (tie): Jon Stryker, 54, a Michigan philanthropist.
Total: US$2.066 million
Stryker has given US$2 million to the Priorities USA Action super PAC and has given US$66,000 in contributions to Obama and the Democratic Party. Stryker is the heir to namesake Stryker Corp., the major medical device and equipment manufacturer. Stryker has been active in politics before the 2012 election; he contributed millions to help Democratic candidates statewide. And he also has given nearly US$250 million of his personal wealth to groups supporting gay rights and the conservation of apes.