Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Cornell Woolridge of Windsor Mill, Md., holds protest signs in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in October 2013. (Photo: NickPrete)

As Expected, Big Money Flood Grows Bigger in Wake of McCutcheon Ruling

Center for Responsive Politics data shows wealthy donors have already contributed $11.6 million more than would have been permitted before ruling

Sarah Lazare

Five months after the U.S. Supreme Court's McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission ruling struck down certain limits to the campaign contributions, the election cycle is already flooded with more money from wealthy individuals that would not have been allowed prior to the decision. 

By the end of June, at least 310 donors who spent above the pre-McCutcheon cap had already contributed a total of $49.8 million — $11.6 million more than would have been permitted before the April ruling, according to data from the research organization Center for Responsive Politics. While these donors favors Republicans two to one, they also write big checks to Democrats.

Who are these wealthy individuals? Some are well-known, politically influential billionaires, including Charles and David Koch, Sheldon Adelson, and George Soros. Others are hedge fund managers, real estate magnates, and wealthy business people. At 310 people so far, they represent less than one in a million Americans, analysts at the Center for Responsive Politics point out.

According to Matea Gold writing for the Washington Post,

“You have to realize, when you start contributing to all these guys, they give you access to meet them and talk about your issues,” Andrew Sabin, a wealthy donor who surpassed pre-McCutcheon limits, told the Post.

$3.6 million.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

'Policy of Death': Amazon Guardians Sue Ecuador's President Over Oil, Mining Decrees

"We are fighting to defend our territory, our rivers, our forest, our fish, and our animals," one Indigenous leader explained. "Without our forest and without water, we cannot live."

Brett Wilkins ·


'Just Cancel the Debt,' Advocates Say as Biden Admin Develops Strategy for Restarting Student Loan Payments

Student debt cancellation "is good economic policy that will change the lives of millions of families," said Rep. Ayanna Pressley.

Julia Conley ·


Green Public Spending a 'Win-Win Opportunity' for Climate and Workers, Global Study Shows

"It's really a no-brainer for the federal government to prioritize green investments to put our economy back on track," said one advocate. "It's good politics and good policy."

Kenny Stancil ·


After CIA Plot Revealed, Press Freedom Coalition Says DOJ Must Drop Assange Case

"A precedent created by prosecuting Assange could be used against publishers and journalists alike, chilling their work and undermining freedom of the press," said the groups.

Julia Conley ·


'Needlessly Provocative': Austin Rebuked for Again Opening NATO Door to Ukraine and Georgia

"The Biden administration now faces a stark choice: commit to fight for Ukraine, creating a serious risk of war with Russia, or admit that NATO expansion has come to an overdue end."

Brett Wilkins ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo