With the crowds of protesters growing larger at each Donald Trump rally, and with the Republican establishment reportedly setting up secret meetings to plot how to take down Trump, we decided to take a look at the various groups that are funding this apparent anti-Trump movement.
The Trump haters span from conservatives like the Club for Growth to more liberal organizations like Moveon.org. Overall, tens of millions have been spent with apparently very little impact on the Republican front runner. Trump continues to lead in the polls and has already racked up 755 delegates (according to RCP) and is near that magic number to secure the nomination.
Interestingly, many of the major anti-Trump ads across the country are fueled by conservative groups. We pulled together the following list by examining public records, scanning various news outlets and press releases for coverage. If we find more, we will be sure to update this list:
- New York financier George Soros, along with other donors, are funding a $15 million campaign to mobilize immigrants to get out the vote, and re-focus their attention against Donald Trump. The super PAC is called Immigrant Voters Win PAC. “This is really taking the gloves off,” Cristobal Alex, who is one of the Hispanic leaders working with the group, told The New York Times.
- A group called Our Principles PAC, funded mostly by Republicans, is working to expose Trump’s past liberal positions. So far they’ve spent about $4.5 million on attack ads. Their top contributor, according to public records, is Marlene Ricketts, who is the wife of Joe Ricketts, founder of TD Ameritrade. The group announced last week that it was running a new round of anti-Trump ads in Utah using clips of a speech by the GOP’s 2012 presidential nominee Mitt Romney, denouncing Trump, according to USA Today. You may remember one of their ads gained national attention after it took aim at how Trump treats women. The Ricketts Family also owns the Chicago Cubs.
- The Club for Growth Action is the super PAC arm of the conservative group, Club for Growth. They are funding a number of anti-Trump initiatives, including ads in Illinois. “A big-government liberal at the top of the GOP ticket would cost Republicans the White House, the Senate majority, and ultimately, the Supreme Court,” David McIntosh, the president of the super PAC told The New York Times. According to public records, so far, the group has spent about $7 million dollars. Their biggest donor to the PAC is conservative businessman Richard Uihlein who gave $1.5 million from September through January.
- Marco Rubio’s former super PAC, Conservative Solutions, is also reportedly pouring funding into anti-Trump ads. “We’re running a multi-state, multi-million-dollar campaign against Donald Trump and the con-man scam he’s pulling on the American people,” Jeff Sadosky, a spokesperson for the group, told Crain’s New York Business. They’ve spent about $54 million so far this election cycle. Their top two donors are Citadel founder Kenneth Griffin and New York hedge fund manager Paul Singer.
- The American Future Fund is a conservative non-profit group that has taken out aggressive anti-Trump ads, including one attacking Trump University. “Having previously heard from some of the everyday people victimized by Trump University, some to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars, we’re now hearing of the personal nightmares of those called upon to peddle Donald Trump’s bait-and-switch scheme,” said Stuart Roy, an AFF advisor. The organization has spent $22 million this election cycle so far. Because they are considered a 501c non-profit, the group is not required to fully disclose their donor list. According to opensecrets.org, AFF has spent more so-called dark money than any other organization so far this cycle.
- Stand for Truth is a PAC supporting Senator Ted Cruz for president. It has also funded anti-Trump ads as well. Records indicated they’ve spent $8.3 million this election cycle. Eric Lycan, an attorney for the group, told Politico back in January that they “feels it is critical, as voting in this presidential election begins, that Iowa voters hear in his own words that Donald Trump is not a conservative.” According to public records, the biggest donor so far this election cycle, is Dallas investment fund manager Adam Ross.
- According to the Wall Street Journal, Hillary Clinton allies have organized a group of 22 liberal groups that plan to take Trump head on. The group will be headed by Moveon.org (funded by George Soros). Their plans include orchestrating large anti-Trump protests, possibly including protests held at the Republican convention, and other major cities. The group says they plan to spend millions.
Those are the major organizations that have or are planning to fund major anti-Trump initiatives. However, with Trump winning primaries across the country, and well on his way to securing 1,237 delegates to win the nomination, it appears these efforts only are only fueling his popularity. We will continue to closely monitor public disclosure filings, and update this list accordingly.