Billionaire Republicans David and Charles Koch and several of their wealthy friends have pledged US$100 million to defeat US President Barack Obama in the upcoming presidential election.
The money was raised at a private meeting held over the weekend, reports the Huffington Post. Charles Koch pledged US$40 million and David pledged US$20 million, the paper quotes a source who was at the get-together. The difference was made up by 250 to 300 other attendees.
Because of legal limits on how much an individual can donate to a political candidate, most of the money will go into super PACs, which are loosely affiliated with the campaigns.
The Koch brothers have been very active within the Republican presidential primary this year, heavily investing in Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, and several others. They were also behind the failed media push to get Chris Christie to run for president. The New Jersey governor secretly attended the semi-annual meeting last year, sparking outrage among local Democrats.
Also noted at this year’s meeting was first-time attendance of Shelden Adelson and his wife Miriam. The couple are responsible for keeping the campaign of Newt Gingrich afloat with a US$10 million donation to the former House Speaker’s super PAC, Winning Our Future.
House Majority Leader, Eric Cantor, was also on hand at the meeting, reports MyDesertFox.com.
Also attending this year was Ken Griffin, founder and CEO of the Citadel Investment Group. The investor back then-candidate Obama in 2008, getting his employees to donate US$205,000 to the campaign. Griffin wound up backing Arizona Senator John McCain by the time of the election, and has since then openly expressed his “frustration” at the president’s fiscal policies.