Michael Bloomberg was the second largest political donor leading up the the congressional elections, giving more than $20 million and trailing top giver Democrat Tom Steyer’s over $70 million. This flies in the face of assumptions that Republicans give the most money. Then again, how to categorize Bloomberg, who is a Democrat turned Republican turned Independent? Bloomberg gave half of his total donations to his own Independence USA PAC, which dispersed its funds to more Republicans than Democrats. However, Democrats feel they should have some love (or cash) from Bloomberg too, since many of the issues he supports sounds like those emphasized at a Democratic convention: gun control, fighting obesity, gay rights etc..
Bloomberg has been outspoken on the issue of gun control. Conservative website Townhall.com blames Bloomberg’s donations for the passage of I-594, which tightened background checks for handguns in Washington. The site castigated the legislation as restricting the rights of average Americans, and said, “A handful of billionaires led by Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer and Michael Bloomberg spent more than $10 million to champion and successfully pass Initiative 594.” Townhall claims that law enforcement officials objected to the initiative but weren’t listened to by the “low information voters in Washington.” Now there is concern among gun rights activist that a similar piece of legislation is being proposed in Nevada, and is funded by “liberty despising billionaires, ” presumably Bloomberg.
According to Politico, Democratic donors did outspend Republicans, although the biggest wins in the Senate were Republicans. Democrats gave $174 million while Republicans donated $140 million. However, this only deals with money given to non-profits that do not have to disclose their donors. In these non-profits, Republicans are said to dramatically outspend Democrats, $127 million compared to $33 million. While the Koch brothers are only the 10th and the 29th givers of disclosed donations, it is estimated they may have given as much as $290 million through non-profits.