In the course of the GOP presidential primary, we’ve heard plenty about PAC men Sheldon Adelson (pro-Gingrich Super PAC Winning Our Future) and Foster Friess (pro-Santorum Super PAC Red White and Blue Fund).
Now comes Texas billionaire Harold Simmons (pro-Whoever Super PAC contributor).
From Thursday’s Wall Street Journal:
Texas Billionaire Doles Out Election’s Biggest Checks
DALLAS—Few people want to defeat President Barack Obama more than billionaire Harold Clark Simmons, who is willing to spend many millions of dollars in the quest. As it happens, campaign rules now give him the opportunity.
Watching a TV news report that Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum was rising in polls last month, Mr. Simmons wondered about the prospects of the former Pennsylvania senator. He called his personal political muse, Republican strategist Karl Rove.
“Is he worth investing into his super PAC?” Mr. Simmons asked. He rose from his leather recliner in the den and stood at a bay window overlooking swans gliding on a lake encircled by 17,000 tulips. “Does he have a chance?”
“Yes, I wouldn’t count him out,” Mr. Rove said. Mr. Simmons’s wife, Annette, who was keen on Mr. Santorum, promptly donated $1 million to his super PAC, cash badly needed for an ad blitz ahead of the Super Tuesday primaries.
The 80-year-old Texan, who heads Contran Corp., a chemicals and metals conglomerate, gave hefty donations to the super PACs supporting other GOP candidates during similar moments in the spotlight: Rick Perry’s optimistic entry into the race last summer, and after the debate-driven surge of Newt Gingrich. Mr. Simmons has so far given $800,000—including $500,000 this week—to super PACs backing former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who won the Illinois primary Tuesday and contends no rival can catch him in the GOP delegate race.
It isn’t particularly important which man wins the nomination, for Mr. Simmons simply wants to defeat the president and reduce the reach of government. “Any of these Republicans would make a better president than that socialist, Obama,” said Mr. Simmons during two days of rare interviews at his Dallas home and office. “Obama is the most dangerous American alive…because he would eliminate free enterprise in this country.”
Helpful WSJ chart:
Just what the 2012 election needs: An indiscriminate political ATM.
This campaign just keeps getting more and more baroque.
Or is that baroke?
Stay thirsty, my friend.
I appreciate a return to the Ruling Families political model as much as the next guy, but it’s hard for me to accept that these billionaires are stupid or senile enough to think either Santorum or Gingrich have a chance.
Is it simply that they are, in fact, that stupid or senile? Or is there something else, like ego, at work here? Are they just playing “wind-up toy” with the GOP candidates?
Your guess is as good as mine, Mick.