Big Donors Have Fled Jeb Bush’s Super-PAC

This doesn’t bode well.

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

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This summer, Jeb Bush’s warchest seemed unbeatable. In July, the pro-Bush super-PAC, Right to Rise, announced a record haul of $103 million. Bush insiders said at the time that this staggering total was meant to “shock and awe” the former Florida governor’s competitors and pressure uncommitted donors to either climb on the bandwagon or stay the hell out of the way. Now it’s Right to Rise’s fundraisers who must be feeling shocked and awed: According to just-released disclosures, they managed to raise just $15.1 million during the second half of the year, as Bush fell from presumptive favorite to Donald Trump’s favorite punching bag.

In July, when the super-PAC’s first-half numbers were released, we counted at least 23 donors who gave $1 million or more to Right to Rise. This time, there was just one donor who gave more than $500,000—former AIG chairman and CEO, Hank Greenberg, who donated a whopping $10 million. And where during the first half of the year Right to Rise had 9,400 donors, it reported just 155 contributors in its latest disclosure.

Last spring, the super-PAC was so worried about appearing elitist and hurting Bush’s “man-of-the-people” image that it instructed donors to hold off on making any donations larger than $1 million. According to its latest filing, the super-PAC still has $54 million in cash (after having blown more than $58 million), but still, Right to Rise officials must be regretting that decision now.

 

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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