Billionaires such as Republican casino tycoon Sheldon Adelson and hedge fund executive-turned-environmental activist Tom Steyer have earned time in the political limelight as they’ve poured their fortunes into super PACs.
But not all of these political groups — which are legally allowed to accept unlimited contributions from individuals, corporations and unions — are dependent on the financial largesse of deep-pocketed interests.
In fact, ten super PACs and hybrid super PACs that raised at least $500,000 last year collected more than half their money from donors that each gave just $200 or less, according to a Center for Public Integrity analysis of Federal Election Commission records.
Support from small-dollar donors is about all they have in common, though. These super PACs cover a diverse ideological spectrum — from union-sponsored outfits to tea party-aligned groups to the pro-gun control super PAC led by former Democratic Rep. Gabby Giffords of Arizona, who herself survived an assassination attempt in 2011.
Click through the slides below to learn more about these ten people-powered super PACs.
Help support this work
Public Integrity doesn’t have paywalls and doesn’t accept advertising so that our investigative reporting can have the widest possible impact on addressing inequality in the U.S. Our work is possible thanks to support from people like you.