Haim Saban is a big honking Democratic donor — and he wants you to know it.
The billionaire and his wife, Cheryl, have given a stunning $6.4 million to Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid, according to federal records confirmed with Saban’s political advisers. The donations come not only to her official campaign but also to her super PAC and state Democratic Party committees that can support the former secretary of state’s efforts.
“It’s important to me for the [entertainment] industry to know what I’m doing for Hillary, how committed I am,” Saban told TheWrap.
“I want my number to be out there so others will be inspired to do the same,” he added.
So pay attention Jeffrey Katzenberg ($1 million in 2015), Steven Spielberg ($1 million in 2015), J.J. Abrams ($1 million in 2015 with wife Katie McGrath) who have given big to Clinton’s Democratic presidential campaign.
Here’s how it breaks down:
In December, Haim Saban donated $1.5 million to Priorities USA, Clinton’s super PAC. Cheryl also donated $1.5 million to the PAC.
That brought the Sabans’ total PAC donations in 2015 to $5 million.
That number has been widely reported. (Though recent reports of donor updates appear to have left out his wife’s December contribution.)
But there is an entire category that has so far been ignored in media reports, a slurry of soft money coming through a newly expanded pipeline — the state Democratic Party committees.
The Hillary Victory Fund is a joint fund created by the Clinton campaign, the DNC and 32 state parties. Donors are free to donate up to $10,000 to each state party, per person, per year. Although the money is ostensibly given to the state party, the money can legally be used by the national party for any legitimate purpose.
In this election, that provision is being used more aggressively than ever before. According to Saban’s political adviser, the mogul and his wife have maxed out to this fund in late 2015 and has already maxed out in 2016 — each giving $10,000 to each state party twice over.
Those donations total $1,409,000 as follows:
- $310,000 by Haim Saban to 31 state parties (he had already paid the maximum to one of the states)
- $320,000 from Cheryl Saban went to 32 state parties.
- Each gave $320,000 again in January, maxing out their total for 2016
- $33,400 to the DNC in November (maximum allowed)
- $33,400 to the DNC in January (maximum allowed)
- $5400 – or, $2700 each – to the Hillary Clinton campaign (hard money, maximum allowed
That totals $6.4 million and change.
The $1.4 million to the Hillary Victory fund appears in an obscure place on the FEC site, not readily visible with other PAC donations (image for 2015 donations above).