Ten wealthy Pennsylvanians, including a husband supporting his wife for political office and a gay man seeking equality, contributed nearly $9 million to their favorite candidates and issues since 2011.
PublicSource, working with the Investigative News Network, identified the 10 biggest campaign contributors in the state using state and federal campaign databases.
In Pennsylvania, those numbers can lag by months because they are received as written reports and entered by hand. Most states receive reports of campaign contributions electronically.
For national campaigns, several of the political patrons still contribute the maximum-allowable $5,000 directly to candidates for the presidency, U.S. Senate and Congress. But now they can also write checks for as much as $1 million to Super PACs, the political action committees that can spend unlimited funds for political campaigns, as long as they don’t coordinate the spending with the candidates.
Pennsylvania campaign finance laws are even less restrictive. Unlike residents of most states, individuals here may contribute as much as they like directly to state candidates. That might explain why the top ten spent more on state politics than national, by 55 percent to 45 percent.