Although their efforts have been ineffective as yet, a trio of unaffiliated conservative groups has spent over $28 million to derail the Trump for President express.
The Federal Elections Commissions cited filings on Sunday that show who the major backers of the effort are:
The Ricketts clan, of Omaha, Nebraska, have been the largest contributors – having given $5 million since January. Warren Stephens, whose business profile closely resembles that of Trump’s, and his brother, Jackson “Steve” Stephens Jr., gave $3.5 million last month in addition to $500,000 last year. New York hedge fund manager Paul Singer gave $1 million and San Francisco investor, William Oberndorf has ponied up $500,000.
Trump has leveraged his accomplishments as a real estate developer, entrepreneur and reality TV personality and producer into international fame. Warren Stephens has aggressively expanded an inherited family business as an investment banker, owner of fine wines, a fleet of jets, and exclusive golf course. He has paid out money to politicians from either side of the aisle to assure a return of governmental favor much like Trump boasts of his exploits before his commitment to run for the presidency.
Stephens’ operations are based in Little Rock, Arkansas and include over two dozen offices in across the country and abroad. Forbes estimates his personal wealth at $2.4 billion.
Although Stephens is a long time GOP supporter and donor, he did support Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential bid, for which he was rewarded by the new President with an overnighter in the Lincoln Bedroom in the White House.
In addition to his contributions to derail Trump, Stephens has given $300,000 to super-PACs supporting Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, Scott Walker and Chris Christie. Stephens has concentrated his giving to the super-PAC, Club for Growth, which advocates limited government and lower taxes. This group has been one of the larger donors to the anti-Trump effort.