The Washington Post

Who funded the super PAC hitting Dem and GOP candidates? These three billionaires.

I took a closer look last week at Ending Spending Action Fund, a unique super PAC that has gone after both Republicans and Democrats. So who's funding it? Thanks to its latest campaign finance report, we now know that just three wealthy donors are responsible for the $1.35 million the group raised between January and March.


The first one is no surprise. It's Joe Ricketts, the billionaire founder of TD Ameritrade who started the super PAC. He gave $550,000. (Super PACs can raise and spend unlimited sums.)

The other two are Paul Singer, a hedge fund manager who also spends big money supporting Republican candidates who support gay marriage; and Seth Klarman, founder of the Baupost Group, one of the world's largest hedge funds. Klarman gave $450,000 and Singer added $350,000. Bloomberg News first flagged the donations to the group in the first quarter.

According to the Sunlight Foundation's tally, Klarman has donated primarily to Republican causes and candidates over the years. But he's also given to Democrats.

Ending Spending's cause is fighting against what it sees as wasteful government spending.​

In 2012, Ending Spending Action Fund spent about $14 million on federal races, according to the Center For Responsive Politics, roughly $10 million of which went toward supporting Mitt Romney in the presidential campaign.

This year the group has been hitting Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.) and Democrat Michelle Nunn in the Georgia Senate race. It's also advertised for Republican Scott Brown in the New Hampshire Senate race. It spent a total of about $375,000 during the first quarter and ended March with nearly $1 million in the bank.

Sean Sullivan has covered national politics for The Washington Post since 2012.



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