BILLIONAIRES BACKING QANON CANDIDATES IN MIDTERM ELECTIONS

Mainstream money appears to be normalizing conspiracy-based candidates 

 

More than 50 candidates in the 2022 midterms have expressed explicit support for the QAnon conspiracy or implicitly supported the cause by reposting posts on social media. These candidates from all over the country proudly label themselves as anti-establishment.

 

An analysis of thousands of campaign contribution records, however, found these candidates are backed by more than 15 billionaire donors and other deep pockets mega-millionaires, helping to normalize the controversial conspiracy theories, which fomented the January 6 insurrection, and create a stronger political force of extremists in Congress. 

 

Many of the billionaires that support these fringe candidates are some of the key supporters of the mainstream political Republican party. For instance, Charles Johnson, the billionaire owner of the San Francisco Giants, donated one million to the Congressional Leadership Fund in 2020 and previously donated $2 million to the Senate Leadership Political Action Committee, the Super PAC controlled by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

 

In 2021, Johnson and his wife donated directly to Carla Spalding, a congressional candidate who has spewed unhinged theories, such as warning weapons “will be used if necessary” to stop Covid camps that will be tried by the government. Spalding is also supported by newspaper heiress, Margaretta Taylor, even though Spalding has challenged her voters to “decide what is the real news.” 

 

Texas billionaires have flocked to fund Mayra Flores’s congressional campaign, boasting personal donations from four billionaires, even though Flores is a proud supporter of the QAnon theory.  At least one of these donors have donated $500,000 to the Senate Leadership Fund in 2020. 

 

Additionally, controversial U.S. Congressman Lauren Boebert — a congresswoman who overtly attempted to overturn the 2020 presidential election results —  has received donations from an heir of the Johnson & Johnson fortune and the co-founder of Home Depot. Billionaire Steve Wynn, who donated $9 million to the Senate Leadership Fund in 2020, donated directly to Boebert months after the insurrection, signaling a shift in the priorities of deep-pocked Republican donors and the mainstreaming of QAnon conspiracy theories.

 

“We are not the fringe. We are the base of the party,” Marjorie Taylor Greene, the controversial Congresswoman, proudly told Steve Bannon last year. If the acceptance of QAnon by the Republican financial elite is any indication, the Congresswoman was not wrong. 

BACKGROUND

Sam Peters a Republican candidate running in Nevada’s 4th Congressional District has tweeted in support of the “#QArmy.” Peters has claimed, “I would not have voted to certify Jan. 6, not without more questions.” Peters is a retired Air Force Officer and is set to primary against several Republicans in June 2022. He has called Rittenhouse an American Hero.

  • Tatnall Hillman, a recluse mega-millionaire who inherited his money from Aspen, and his wife have donated $5,600 to the Committee to Elect Sam Peters.

  • Billionaire and activist investor Edward Bramson donated $2000 to Sam Peters’s campaign. 

  • Frank Suryan, a luxury home builder whose company has assets of more than $2 billion, and his wife donated a total of $11,600 to Peters’ campaign. 

  • Retired mega-millionaire Craig Barrett, former on the Board of the Intel Corp, donated $2900 to Peters. Barrett has an estimated net worth of nearly $100 million. Barrett donated with an address tied to Triple Creek Ranch (TCR), property that he and his wife run. 

  • Joey Jacobs, hospital executive from Tennessee worth an estimated $50 millions, donated $3900 to Sam Peters. 

  • New York-based private equity mogul, Thomas Klingenstein, who oversees a firm worth more than $2 billion, donated $5,800 to Peters. 

Anthony Sabatini is an incumbent member of the Florida House of Representatives and a Republican candidate running in Florida’s 7th Congressional District. He has previously tweeted a site that collected Q posts. He has supported AR-15s to counter Black Lives Matter protests and sued counties and municipalities over mask mandates.

  • Dragos Sprinceana, CEO of GoldCoast Logistics, a company worth about $200 million, and his wife donated $11600 to Sabatini for Congress. 

  • John Chiorando, CEO of Quality One Wireless, a company with revenues of more than $250 million, and his wife donated $17,200 to Sabatini for Congress. 

  • Leila Centner, wife of David Centner who is a multi-millionaire inventor, donated $5,000 to Sabatini’s campaign. Though it’s been difficult to exact Centner’s net worth, his most recent company was acquired for $6.5 billion.

Tina Forte, AOC challenger, has posed a picture wearing a hat that reads, WWG1WGA, a popular phrase for QAnon supporters. Forte was seen outside the Capitol on January 6.

  • Tatnall Hillman, a recluse millionaire from Aspen, has leaned into backing QAnon supporters across the country. He and his wife have donated $14,5000 to Tina Forte for Congress. 

  • Robert Niehaus, chairman of GCP Capital Partners, a private equity firm worth more than a billion dollars, donated $5800 to Tina Forte for Congress. Niehaus donated recently to Senator Mike Lee, Senator Charles Grassley, and the National Republican Congressional Committee.

  • Mike Niamonitakis, a real-estate developer in New York City, donated $2900 to Forte’s campaign. Niamonitakis was just named as one of the worst landlords in New York City. It’s been difficult to identify Niamonitakis’ full net worth. He keeps a low profile, perhaps because he has been accused of terrible living conditions in his buildings.

  • Roger Beit, who is rumored to be worth hundreds of millions, donated $2900 to Forte’s campaign. Though Beit’s exact net worth has been difficult to track, his Instagram account shows a car collection that is considered one of the most elite in the country.

Mayra Flores is a Republican candidate running in Texas’ 34th Congressional distraction. She has repeated used the hashtag #Q and QAnon hashtags while posting on social media. Flores has also posted about election fraud conspiracies on her social media. 

  • Richard Weekley, a mega-millionaire from Texas, and his wife donated $5,800 to Mayra Flores for Congress. Weekley co-founded the largest privately-owned homebuilding company in the country with 2019 revenues of $2.17 billion.

  • Lucy Billingsley, a Texas heiress who inherited her father’s fortune that was worth a billionaire, donated $1500 to Billingsley’s campaign.  

  • Billionaire Harlan Crow donated $5800 to Flores’s campaign. In 2020, Crow donated $250,000 to the Senate Leadership Fund, according to FEC data.

  • Billionaire Robert Rowling and his wife donated $11,600 to Flores’s campaign. In 2020, Rowling donated $500,000 to the Senate Leadership Fund, according to FEC data.

  • Texas billionaire, Darwin Deason, donated $5800 to Mayra Flores campaign for Congress. Deason also donated to Congressman Boebert’s reelection campaign.

  • Jay Novik, principal of Black Diamond Capital Partners, a private equity firm overseeing an estimated $50 million, donated $2900 to Flores. Novik donated $25,000 to the Republican National Committee in 2020, according to FEC.

 

Carla Spalding is a Republican candidate running in Florida’s 23rd Congressional District, who tweeted the QAnon slogan in 2018. Spalding has called the vaccine “chemical warfare” and posted a picture with her “Dearest friend Roger Stone.” She has also called MSNBC reporting disinformation. 

  • Margaretta Taylor, a billionaire heiress and granddaughter of James M. Cox, donated $2800 to Spalding’s campaign.

  • Billionaire Charles Johnson and his wife donated $11,200 to Spalding’s campaign.

  • Ellsowrth McKee, a member of the billion dollar family behind the Little Debbie snacks, donated $5600 to the Spalding campaign.  

Rep. Lauren Boebert has courted the QAnon crowd, claiming she hoped the theory “is real because it only means America is getting stronger and better.”

  • Bernard Marcus, a billionaire and co-founder of Home Depot, and his wife donated a total of $11,600 to Lauren Boebert for Congress in 2021. Marcus donated $2 million to the Senate Leadership Fund in 2020.

  • Hillman and his wife, the recluse millionaires from Aspen, have donated $6,000 to Lauren Boebert for Congress.

  • Steve Wynn, a billionaire from Nevada, has donated $5,600 to Lauren Boebert for Congress. Wynn donated $9 million to the Senate Leadership Fund in 2020. The address listed on the $4 million donation to the Senate Leadership Fund matches the address listed in the donations to Boebert. Startlingly, it appears Wynn first donated to Boebert post January 6, according to FEC data. 

  • Walter Buckley, an early internet investor worth hundreds of millions, donated $5,800 to Lauren Boebert for Congress. He donated $2.5 million to the Senate Leadership Fund in 2020. Startlingly, it appears Buckley first donated to Boebert post January 6, according to FEC data. 

  • Billionaire Charles Johnson, the largest shareholder of Franklin Templeton Investments and the largest owner of the San Francisco Giants, donated $5800 to Boebert’s campaign.

  • Paul Foster, an El Paso billionaire, donated $5,800 to Boebert’s campaign. 

  • Patrick Ryan, a billionaire, donated $5800 to Boebert’s campaign. In 2020, Ryan donated at least $9.5 million to the Senate Leadership Fund. 

  • Bernard and Nancy Karwick, multi-millionaires from Colorado, have donated $11,600 to Boebert’s campaign. 

  • Dian Stai, a mega-millionaire from Texas who oversees more than $180 million, donated $3500 to Boebert’s campaign. 

  • Keith Rabois, a tech mega-millionaire and early investor in PayPal, LinkedIn and Square, donated $5800 to Boebert for Congress. He donated $500,000 to the Take Back the House 2022 PAC in 2021, according to FEC records.

  • Johnson & Johnson heir Elaine Wold donated $5800 to Boebert for Congress. In 2021, Wold also donated $700,000 to the Take Back the House 2022, according to FEC records.

  • John Childs, who runs a private equity firm valued at $3.1 billion, and his wife donated $17,400 to Boebert’s campaign. Childs donated $1 million to the Senate Leadership Fund in 2020. 

  • Charles Saulsbury, leader of Saulsbury Industries that has annual revenues of more than $500 million, donated $5800 to Boebert’s campaign. 

  • Margaretta Taylor, a billionaire heiress and granddaughter of James M. Cox, donated $5800 to Boebert’s campaign. Taylor donated $12,800 to Senator Mitch McConnell in 2020.

  • Billionaire Ross Perot Jr., under the name H. Perot, donated $5,800 to Boebert’s campaign. Perot donated $319,500 to the Republican National Committee in 2020. 

  • Billionaire Jeffrey Hildebrand and his wife donated $13,160 to Boebert’s campaign. He donated $375,000 to the Senate Leadership Fund in 2020.

  • Billionaire Howard Lutnick donated $5800 to Boebert’s campaign for congress. In 2020, Lutnick donated $1 million to the Senate Leadership Fund.

J.R. Majewski is a Republican candidate running in Ohio’s 9th Congressional District who. has appeared on Fox News wearing a QAnon shirt. Majewski was reportedly in Washington DC the day of the Capitol insurrection. 

  • Hillman and his wife have donated $11,600 to J.R. Majewski for Congress.

Robert Lancia has denied he supports the QAnon conspiracy theory, but his Twitter account has retweeted a couple of tweets in support of Qanon. 

  • Hillman and his wife have donated $8,700 to Lancia for Congress.

  • Prashanth Palakurthi, the multi-millionaire founder of Reflexis Systems, has donated $5800 to Lancia for Congress.