Haley's Top Backers Include Democrat Donors, Silicon Valley Billionaires

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by Tyler Durden
Sunday, Dec 17, 2023 - 05:50 PM

Authored by Austin Alonzo via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley is racking up endorsements from key conservative fundraisers ahead of the 2024 primaries. She already has solid backing from wealthy donors in Silicon Valley, including those who typically donate to the Democratic Party, as well as her network of political action committees.

According to Federal Election Commission (FEC) filings and her campaign's spending ahead of the Iowa Caucuses, the former United Nations ambassador's main political action committee is SFA Fund Inc. However, Ms. Haley is also linked to two other super PACs and a 501(c)(4) organization.

Republican presidential candidate former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley participates in the NewsNation Republican Presidential Primary Debate at the University of Alabama's Moody Music Building Concert Hall in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Dec. 6, 2023. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

PACs and nonprofits

Collectively, the PACs SFA Fund Inc., Team Stand For America, and Stand For America PAC had a total of about $19.5 million on hand at the end of June, according to FEC records. Most of the money was in SFA Fund, which held about $17 million. Those funds had raised $28 million through June, the last time that the FEC required PACs to disclose their fundraising activities.

A super PAC can solicit or make unlimited contributions from individuals, corporations, labor unions, and other political committees, according to the regulatory agency.

SFA Fund is a hybrid PAC. This, according to the FEC, means that it can solicit and accept unlimited contributions from individuals, corporations, labor unions, and other political committees. It must maintain two bank accounts—one for independent spending on advertisements or voter drives, and another for making direct contributions to federal candidates.

Stand For America

Ms. Haley is linked to a nonprofit 501(c)(4) organization: Stand For America Inc. According to 2021 Internal Revenue Service records obtained by The Epoch Times, the group's president at the time was Michael Haley, Ms. Haley's husband. Stand For America was registered as a nonprofit by the IRS in 2019, shortly after she left her position as the U.S. ambassador to the U.N.

According to the IRS, A 501(c)(4) is a social welfare organization. The earnings of a 501(c)(4) group must not inure—or enrich—any private shareholder or individual. A 501(c)(4) social welfare organization may engage in some political activities, as long as that isn't its primary activity.

In 2021, Stand For America Inc. stated that it had collected about $8.6 million, spent about $8.5 million, and ended the year with about $2.3 million. Its 2022 990 filing isn't yet publicly available.

Stand For America PAC, a traditional political action committee, was formed in January 2021, well ahead of Ms. Haley's February 2023 announcement that she was running for president.

Between January 2021 and December 2022, Stand For America PAC raised about $17.5 million. During that same period, it sent about $1.7 million back to Stand For America Inc. It also spent about $5.4 million with Arlington, Virginia, consultancy Targeted Victory.

Additionally, during this period, the Stand For America PAC sent money to the election campaigns of numerous Republicans. Most notably, it sent $10,000 to [Iowa Gov.] Kim Reynolds for Iowa in June 2021. Ms. Reynolds, a Republican, has endorsed and is now campaigning with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, also a Republican, in his bid for the GOP's presidential nomination.

In 2023, Stand For America PAC raised about $2.3 million through the end of June. It held about $2.2 million. In June 2023, Stand For America PAC sent $1 million to SFA Fund.

Presidential candidate Nikki Haley speaks to supporters at the McIntyre Ski Area in Manchester, N.H., after winning the endorsement of New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu. (Photo by Alice Giordano/The Epoch Times)

Team Stand for America

Team Stand for America, a joint fundraising committee, was founded in November 2022 and shares an address with Stand For America Inc. It raised about $7 million in the first six months of this year and sent most of the money to Ms. Haley's principal campaign committee, Nikki Haley for President Inc., or a committee related to her campaign.

Joint fundraising, according to the FEC, is an election-related fundraising activity conducted jointly by a political committee and one or more other political committees or unregistered organizations.

Through June, Team Stand for America sent about $2 million to Nikki Haley for President, about $1.3 million to Stand For America PAC, and about $770,000 to SFA Fund. At the end of September, Ms. Haley's principal campaign committee had raised about $18.7 million and retained about $11.6 million on hand.

Jan Koum, co-founder and CEO of WhatsApp, speaks at the Digital Life Design conference in Munich, Germany, on Jan. 18, 2016. (Tobias Hase/AFP/Getty Images)

Jan Koum

The largest single donor to SFA Fund is Ukranian-American billionaire Jan Koum. He gave $5 million to SFA Fund Inc. between February and June.

Mr. Koum is a co-founder and former CEO of messaging application WhatsApp. The application was acquired by Facebook Inc. in 2014 for $19.3 billion. Forbes estimates that Mr. Koum is worth $15.3 billion.

According to data collected by watchdog group Open Secrets, Mr. Koum began donating to Republican Party causes in 2021. Most of his contributions have gone to the Republican Jewish Coalition Victory Fund and the United Democracy Project (UDP). The UDP, according to FEC records, has sent about $2.5 million to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee between January and June.

Venture capitalist Tim Draper speaks about his plan to partition California into six states at a press conference in San Mateo, Calif., on April 12, 2018. (REUTERS/Stephen Lam/File Photo)

Tim Draper

Tim Draper, the founder and managing partner of San Mateo, California-based Draper Associates and a member of the wealthy Draper family, gave $1.25 million to SFA Fund in June. Forbes estimates that Mr. Draper is worth $1.2 billion.

Mr. Draper, who campaigned in 2018 to split the state of California into six states, is a prolific donor but not one to splurge on political causes. He's given to both Republican and Democratic candidates, according to Open Secrets records. His SFA gift was his largest political contribution ever.

The Epoch Times reached out to representatives of Mr. Draper but did not receive a reply by press time.

Vivek Garipalli

Vivek Garipalli, co-founder and executive chairperson of Franklin, Tennessee-based Clover Health, gave $1 million to SFA Fund in March. The health care entrepreneur is a consistent political donor who typically gives to Democratic Party causes.

According to Open Secrets records, Mr. Garipalli gave $250,000 to the Democrat-supporting Senate Majority PAC in June. He's given $750,000 to that cause since 2019. Additionally, he's given $265,500 to the DNC Services Corp.—the Democratic National Committee—since 2014.

The Epoch Times reached out to representatives of Mr. Garipalli but did not receive a reply by press time.

Laurel Asness

Laurel Asness is the wife of Clifford "Cliff" Asness, the managing and founding principal of Greenwich, Connecticut-based AQR Capital Management LLC. Ms. Asness gave $1 million to SFA Fund in February. It was her largest-ever political contribution.

Ms. Asness, who lists herself as a philanthropist and a homemaker on federal filings since 2017, is a consistent supporter of Republican causes like the Republican National Committee (RNC), National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), and National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), according to Open Secrets records. Her $1 million gift to SFA Fund is the largest contribution she's ever made.

Likewise, Mr. Asness is a major Republican Party donor. He's repeatedly given gifts of $100,000 or more to causes like the Republican-backing Senate Leadership Fund and Congressional Leadership Fund, according to Open Secrets records. Forbes estimates Mr. Asness is worth $1.6 billion.

In the 2016 election cycle, Mr. Asness gave $1 million to Our Principals PAC, which opposed former President Donald Trump. He also gave $1 million to Conservative Solutions PAC, which supported Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) in his 2016 presidential run.

In 2023, Mr. Asness is backing former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican seeking the party's presidential nomination. He gave $250,000 to the Christie-aligned Tell It Like It Is PAC in June.

The Epoch Times reached out to representatives of Ms. Asness but did not receive a reply by press time.

Christopher Redlich Jr.

Christopher Redlich Jr., a member of the board of the San Francisco-based Gladstone Foundation and the board of overseers at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, gave a total of $1 million to SFA Fund between March and June. Mr. Redlich, formerly chairman of Marine Terminals Corp. of San Francisco, now lives in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

Mr. Redlich is typically a Republican donor, according to Open Secrets records. The SFA Fund gifts are the largest he's ever given. However, he made small donations—$2,800—to President Joe Biden in 2020 and gave former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton $2,300 in 2007.

The Epoch Times reached out to representatives of Mr. Redlich but did not receive a reply by press time.

Steven Stull

Steven Stull, the president of New Orleans-based Advantage Capital Partners, gave $1 million to SFA Fund in June. The contribution to SFA Fund was the largest he's ever made to a political cause.

According to Open Secrets records, Mr. Stull has supported both Democratic and Republican candidates and made other, smaller contributions to funds connected to Ms. Haley.

The Epoch Times reached out to representatives of Mr. Stull but did not receive a reply by press time.

Ronald Simon

Ronald "Ron" Simon is the founder and chairman of Newport Beach, California-based RSI Equity Partners. He gave $1 million to SFA Fund in June.

Mr. Simon, according to OpenSecrets records, is a consistent Republican Party donor. His contribution to SFA Fund was his largest ever.

The Epoch Times reached out to representatives of Mr. Simon but did not receive a reply by press time.