Former Florida governor and Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush’s decision to pretend not to be a candidate for nearly six months paid off as the super PAC he raised money for, Right to Rise, reported $103 million haul on Friday with most of that money coming from six-figure donors.
Twenty-four donors gave more than $1 million to the Bush super PAC to account for 27 percent of group’s total haul. Unlike most other super PACs, Bush’s did not rely on a small stable of megadonors, but brought in a broad haul from some the country’s wealthiest people. In total, donors contributing $100,000 or more accounted for 71 percent of all contributions or $72.7 million.
The Bush haul is indicative of the central role super PACs will play in the 2016 campaign. Super PACs — which played a major, albeit smaller, role in the last presidential campaign — were created after the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision and subsequent lower court ruling opened the door to unlimited corporate, union and individual contributions so long as the spending remained independent from candidates. Those supposed lines of independence have been blurred to the point of invisibility by candidates like Bush who directly raised money for his own super PAC.
The largest donation to Right to Rise, some $3 million, came from Florida health industry investor Mike Fernandez.