Female Mega-Donors Emerging This Election Year

<a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/pic.mhtml?id=98008733&rid=623645">Evgeny Atamanenko</a>/Shutterstock

Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.


Big spenders are coming out in support of Women Vote!, a reproductive rights Super PAC, the Center for Responsive Politics reports. Women Vote! is affiliated with EMILY’s List, the political action committee dedicated to electing pro-choice women.

In August, the super-PAC brought in $1.9 million, including five six-figure donations from individual female donors. As CRP has pointed out before, this is significant, as there is generally a giant gender gap in political donations; 70 percent of donors for the 2012 cycle have been male. But the donations to Women Vote! indicate that some very wealthy women are making major campaign expenditures this year. The super-PAC has also received several big donations from other progressive organizations: the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund ($325,000) and America Votes ($151,000).

Here are the women donors who made big contributions in August:

But in August, Barbara Stiefel, a Florida philanthropist who had previously donated $1 million to Priorities USA, the super PAC backing President Barack Obama, wrote a $250,000 check to Women Vote! Laura Ricketts, a co-owner of the Chicago Cubs, gave $200,000; if that name sounds familiar, it’s because her father, Joe Ricketts, the founder of TD Ameritrade, made headlines earlier this year when it was reported that his own outside spending group, the Ending Spending Fund was considering launching a major campaign against Obama. New York City philanthropist Shelley Rubin also gave $150,000 last month, and two other women—Mitzi Henderson and Barbara Fish Lee—gave $100,000 apiece.

EMILY’s List says the big donations are a result of the increasing attention to reproductive rights and other women-centric issues this election year. “Finding out that Republicans want to roll back the clock that far for women has been a shock—and folks are absolutely waking up to the need to have more Democratic women in government at every level,” EMILY’s List president Stephanie Schriock said in a statement to Mother Jones.

THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

payment methods

THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate