Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, who has made imposing a wealth tax on multimillion assets one of her campaign pillars, has received donations for her presidential and Senate races from more than 30 billionaires, The New York Post reports.
According to the outlet, a review of her funding history during her political career has revealed that between 2011 and 2019, individual billionaires have often given her sums close to the existing donation limit, which is $2,800 for the primary and $2,800 for the general vote.
Her contributors are said to include venture capitalist Christopher Sacca, with $2,800-donation in May, GitHub founder Tom Preston-Werner’s wife, Theresa, with two $2,500 contributions in June and Hyatt heir Nicholas Pritzker II’s spouse, who also sent $2,500 to the Democratic presidential candidate.
Billionaire donors have donated to her Senate campaign as well, with entertainment mogul Haim Saban, who bashed Warren’s current rival Bernie Sanders, providing Warren $5,400 in 2018. Warren also received support for her Senate campaign from DreamWorks co-founder David Geffen, president of Kingston Technology Corporation John Tu, financier George Soros and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg. The list of her donors even includes hedge fund manager Tom Steyer, who launched his White House bid after he gave $5,400 to the Senator. As the NYP points out, more than $10 million has been transferred from her Senate campaign to fuel her presidential run.
At the same time, according to Forbes, which reviewed generous donations in the 2020 campaign, she has had three billionaire donors, while her rival Bernie Sanders, running with a similar anti-billionaire message, had none.
Hot on the heels of the report, Warren has sought to ban or sharply restrict contributions to political campaigns from corporations, political action committees (PACs), lobbyists and billionaires. She called for a constitutional amendment to undo a US Supreme Court decision that has allowed setting up such committees with unlimited funding. She also vowed to cut the existing $2,800 limit to $1,000.
We need to expand disclosure of fundraising and spending. The system of money for influence is helped at every stage by secrecy. We need to require additional disclosures by presidential campaigns, update laws for online political advertising, and bring dark money into the light.— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) October 15, 2019
The presidential candidate also announced in a press release that no contributions of more than $200 would be accepted from executives at big tech companies, drug companies, fossil fuel firms, big banks, private equity firms, or hedge funds.
She went on a Twitter rampage, denouncing "corruption in Washington", calling for changes and insisting that her campaign does not take contributions over $200 from fossil fuel or big pharma executives.
My campaign doesn’t take money from federal lobbyists or PACs, and I don't take contributions over $200 from fossil fuel or big pharma executives. No call time with rich donors or giving them special access. And when I’m the Democratic nominee, that won't change.— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) October 15, 2019
Earlier, Warren, like Sanders, had made it a point to accept only grassroots donations for her campaign, and has generated a political meme with her phrase “No to the billionaires, no to the billionaires, whether they are self-funding or whether they’re funding PACs.”
“This is a moment for all of the Democratic nominees as they come into the race to say, in a Democratic primary, we are going to link arms and we’re going to say grassroots funding,” she told MSNBC’s “Rachel Maddow Show” earlier this year.
Warren has become a vocal advocate of a so-called wealth tax, making the imposition of a 2% annual tax on assets above $50 million and a 3% tax on assets above $1 billion one of her campaign promises.