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404 West Pike Street    Clarksburg, WV 26301    Phone: 304-627-2236    Fax: 304-627-2239

2016 U.S. Presidential Election

Key Donors in the Presidential Election

Who is Funding Whom:

Resources for the Undecided Voter

It is no secret that a myriad of special interest groups tries to influence our thoughts and manipulate our emotions through any given election cycle.  Their goal, of course, is to entice the listeners, viewers or readers to the support their candidates of choice.  Often times some special interest groups will use shock and purposely misleading information as a means of gaining voters.  What should the average voter know about these groups and their endorsed candidates before heading to the polls?

For starters, one should know that PACs and SuperPACs are (political action committees and super political action committees) usually represent an industry or a particular cause.  Examples may be a nurses’ association or a wildlife preservation group.  These groups raise funds to help candidates who have indicated support for their causes win elections.  There are limits to how much they can donate directly to a candidate.  For example, a PAC may only donate $5000.00 each election directly to a candidate’s campaign fund.  SuperPACs cannot donate directly to campaign funds. However SuperPACs can and do take on the task of directly of creating advertisements and running campaign messages supporting one candidate or demeaning his opponent.  There are no limits to Super PAC spending.

Bottom line: Before you cast your vote based on the claims of one of these groups, you should understand what the group stands for.  To help you, the following are a list of the largest PACs and SuperPACs.

 

       
  Text Box: Name: Fahr LLC
Type: “Shell” wealth holding company
Concern: environment
Budget: $66,860,491
Endorsement:  Contributed only to democrat or liberal candidate.  Contributed to Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

  Text Box: Name: Renaissance Technologies 
Type:  Individual Super PAC
Concern:  Contributes more to conservative than liberal causes.
Budget: $50, 368,646
Endorsement: Supported both Ted Cruz and Carly Fiorina in the primaries.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Text Box: Name: Service Employees International Union
Type:  Individual Super PAC
Concern:  A division of AFL-CIO, this organization represents its members interests.
Budget: $238,434,058
Endorsement: 
Text Box: Name: Majority Cmte Pack
Type:  Super PAC
Concern:  Strictly contributes to Republican House and Senate candidates, including David McKinley 
Budget: $3, 663,850
Endorsement: Supports Republican candidates and committees
                                                                                               

               

 

 

 

       
  Text Box: Name:  Priorities USA/Priorities USA Action 
Type:  Super PAC
Concern:  Formed to support President Obama’s reelection bid, this Super PAC now supports Hillary Clinton.
Budget: $131,802,856
Endorsement: Clinton
    Text Box: Name: American Federation of Teachers
Type:  PAC
Concern:  Represents teachers, school employees and allied workers.
Budget: $80,844,543
Endorsement: Top recipient is Hillary Clinton
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top 20 PAC Contributors to Candidates, 2015-2016

Click on each link to find the group’s agenda.

National Assn of Realtors                                                                              Blue Cross/Blue Shield

National Beer Wholesalers Assn                                                                 Machinists/Aerospace Workers Union

AT&T Inc                                                                                                              Northrop Grumman

Honeywell International                                                                                               Operating Engineers Union

National Auto Dealers Assn                                                                          Majority Committee PAC

Intl Brotherhood of Electrical Workers                                                    United Parcel Service

American Bankers Assn                                                                                 Comcast Corp

Lockheed Martin                                                                                              Home Depot

Credit Union National Assn                                                                          Union Pacific Corp

National Assn of Insurance & Financial Advisors                                  Air Line Pilots Assn         

 

West Virginia Endorsements

With all the drama concerning the national election, it is easy to forget we have important races for state and local government.  The following links will take you to WV specific political action groups. 

West Virginia Business & Industry Council                                 West Virginians for Life, Incorporated
West Virginians Against Government Waste                        West Virginia Coal Association

West Virginians for Life, Incorporated                                     West Virginia Farm Bureau

West Virginians Against Government Waste                        West Virginia Education Association

International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 175             West Virginia Sierra Club

West Virginia Citizen's Defense League                                  West Virginia AFL-CIO

West Virginia State Building and Construction Trades Council

 

 

The sites used to compile this information are listed below.  Both VoteSmart.org and OpenSecrets.org deserve the serious voter’s time.  VoteSmart.org features a Political Courage Test which measures a candidate’s ability to state his true positions on issues rather than sidestepping the issues.  For those who value straight talk, this page is a must.

Sources:

OpenSecrets.org

The Washington Post                                          

VoteSmart.org

 

The following are citizen action groups associated with West Virginia politics:

West Virginia Citizen Action Group

West Virginia Surface Owners Rights Organization

 

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