Billionaire Democrats? They Do Exist

Photograph by Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

George Soros, founder of Soros Fund Management LLC.

Wealthy donors whose net worth begins with a “B” and whose politics are “D” have emerged.

A trio of billionaires contributed more than $3 million in June to a super-PAC supporting President Barack Obama. Their checks accounted for half of Priorities USA Action’s record fundraising haul last month, according to our Bloomberg News story this morning.

Irwin Jacobs, who built Qualcomm Inc., gave $2 million, and Jon Stryker, an architect whose fortune comes from his family’s medical supply business, gave $750,000. Haim Saban, a media executive who was one of President Bill Clinton’s top fundraisers, gave $1 million to an umbrella Democrat group — a third of which went to Priorities.

Also last month, George Soros, a billionaire financier who underwrote much of the failed effort to oust President George W. Bush in 2004, cut a $1 million check to American Bridge, a super-PAC that focuses on opposition research.

So why all the sudden generosity?

Priorities co-founder Bill Burton says there are three factors: polls showing a close race between Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney, the impact of the super-PAC’s ads disparaging Romney’s business experience and the enthusiasm of wealthy Republican donors.

That last part is clear. The top two super-PACs backing Romney, Restore Our Future and American Crossroads, so far have  raised $122 million — six times as much as Priorities.

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