Billlionaire eBay founder Pierre Omidyar has joined the effort to stop Donald Trump from becoming president by donating $100,000 to NeverTrump PAC, a fledgling super PAC that registered with the Federal Election Commission on March 4.
Yahoo News reported that Omidyar has made donations to various Democratic candidates and party organizations over the years, this is believed to be his first contribution to a super PAC. Such organizations were made possible by the 2010 U.S. Supreme Court decision Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.
Omidyar confirmed the donation via Twitter: “I think Trumpism is dangerous,” he wrote. “So I’m personally supporting @NeverTrumpPAC, a rare political contribution during extreme times.”
The @NeverTrumpPAC team is making a difference, and I'm proud to support this group of principled Republicans.
— Pierre Omidyar (@pierre) April 15, 2016
Billionaire businessman Donald Trump currently leads rivals Ted Cruz and John Kasich in the race for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination, although forces such as NeverTrump PAC have recently been working to thwart him. Omidyar’s contribution shows that liberal-leaning donors may also be willing to pony up funds to influence the GOP presidential contest.
Omidyar, 48, is number 163 on Forbes’ list of the world’s billionaires, with an estimated net worth of 7.8 billion. The Hawaii resident made his fortune from eBay, the popular online auction site, where he still serves on the board. He and his wife, Pam, are major philanthropists, and have poured hundreds of millions of dollars into projects centered around human rights, economic development, government transparency and media, among other areas.
Omidyar’s dislike for Trump is no secret. He has made his antipathy toward the candidate clear on Twitter.
“I can’t be contrarian about Donald Trump anymore,” he tweeted on March 13, quoting a Vox story, as Trump blamed Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders for violence at Trump rallies. “He’s terrifying.”
I can't be contrarian about Donald Trump anymore: He's terrifying https://t.co/mXl7ReQIsr
— Pierre Omidyar (@pierre) March 13, 2016
“Trump is a dangerous authoritarian demagogue,” Omidyar wrote in one tweet a few days later.
A lot of people not paying attention don't realize Trump is a dangerous authoritarian demagogue. https://t.co/OwB9lgybhY
— Pierre Omidyar (@pierre) March 17, 2016
“Endorsing Donald Trump immediately disqualifies you from any position of public trust,” he wrote in another.
Endorsing Donald Trump immediately disqualifies you from any position of public trust.
— Pierre Omidyar (@pierre) March 16, 2016
Clever bigots don't say "we hate those people." Clever bigots say "those people hate us, they deserve it." Trump is a clever bigot.
— Pierre Omidyar (@pierre) March 11, 2016
He has also called Trump a “bigot” and a “thin-skinned,” “scaredy-cat” with “no spine.”
Trump is a scaredy-cat. Thin-skinned and no spine. Has a complex about his ego. Makes him dangerous. https://t.co/5nRDtbvU7k
— Pierre Omidyar (@pierre) March 15, 2016
Reached via phone, Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks declined to comment.
The Center for Public Integrity receives funding for its money in politics work from the Democracy Fund, a private foundation funded by Omidyar. The Democracy Fund invests in “organizations working to ensure that our political system is responsive to the priorities of the American public,” according to its website.
The group further notes that “The public’s voice is increasingly drowned out as political leaders become ever-more dependent on a relatively small group of large donors and special interests.”
Democracy Fund president Joe Goldman said Friday that the group is strictly nonpartisan: “As a private foundation, we do not support or oppose candidates and no Democracy Fund resources were used in the course of this gift,” he said.
“Pierre has no editorial involvement with the journalism groups he funds,” said Gina Lindblad, an Omidyar spokeswoman, who confirmed the contribution amount.
The Omidyar Network, a philanthropic organization that invests in numerous for-profit and nonprofit ventures, has also funded other Center for Public Integrity projects.
Center for Public Integrity CEO Peter Bale said the Democracy Fund, while founded by Omidyar, “is an independent entity” and that donors “exert no influence on Center story choice or reporting.”
So far, NeverTrump PAC has paid nearly $50,000 to Tusk Digital, a Washington, D.C.-based company, for online advertising. The super PAC is linked to Republican digital consultant Patrick Ruffini. The group’s website features a pledge that says signers “will do our part to deny Donald Trump the Republican nomination and ensure that he never becomes commander-in-chief. Never means never.”
According to the website, the pledge has so far been signed by nearly 25,000 people.
Read the full story at Yahoo News