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American Crossroads Backed Almost Entirely by Billionaires

The latest FEC filings from American Crossroads continue to tell a similar story: the nonprofit political spending group is funded almost entirely by billionaires. Salon did the math yesterday and calculated that in August the group took in approximately $2.6 million in total, and that a full $2.4 million — or 91 percent — came from just three billionaire beneficiaries:

We’ve previously reported that the group is getting a staggering amount of support from billionaires, several of whom made their fortune in the energy industry and live in Texas. Last month Trevor Rees-Jones, president of Dallas-based Chief Oil and Gas, contributed another $1 million to American Crossroads, on top of the $1 million he gave earlier this year. Fellow billionaire Robert Rowling, CEO of the company TRT Holdings, also gave Crossroads his second $1 million donation in August.

The only new name on the list is American Financial Group, a Cincinnati-based firm owned by nonagenerian Carl Linder. Forbes put Linder’s net worth at $1.7 billion this year, a fortune built up through the growth of United Dairy Farmers. He previously owned Chiquita and currently owns a stake in the Cincinnati Reds. American Financial Group gave American Crossroads $400,000 last month.

Another new billionaire to add to the list of Crossroads backers is Jerry Perenchio of Bel Air. He is worth $2.1 billion, the bulk of which was made off the sale of Spanish language TV station Univision, according to Forbes. He is a major Republican donor who was co-chair of John McCain’s national finance committee. Perenchio gave American Crossroads $1 million in July.

Of course, the groups’s sister organization, a 501(c)4 called American Crossroads GPS, has quite possibly been raising even more. Because the group is only required to file with the IRS, however, we may never know the sources of its funding.

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