Not counting the bribe he paid Trump-- rumored to be a flat million-- German-born, South Africa-raised gay Nazi billionaire Peter Thiel paid $15 million to buy one of his boyfriends, JD Vance, the Republican Ohio Senate nomination. Since the brilliant-- I mean moribund-- Ohio Democratic Party decided to throw the race by nominating the worst possible candidate, Thiel bought a Senate seat.
Far right hedge fund billionaire Ken Griffin is famous for two things: contributing tens of millions of dollars to neo-fascist candidates and for whining that the super-rich don't have enough influence over government. To fix that, he's turned himself into one of the biggest sources of political bribes in the history of America, writing immense checks to pay-for-play politicians like Marco Rubio ($5.5 million), Kevin McCarthy ($15 million), Señor Trumpanzee ($1.25 million), Susan Collins ($1.5 million), Mitt Romney ($1.3 million), etc.
It looks like Griffin is making his-- and maybe history's-- biggest attempt to buy an office yet: $45 million to elect a Republican governor in Illinois. If Griffin's candidate wins the primary, Griffin is expected to spend $100 million on the race, primarily due to a billionaire vs billionaire animus between him and Gov. Pritzker. Last night, Rick Pearson reported that Griffin kicked another $25 million into Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin’s campaign "after seeding Irvin’s candidacy with an initial $20 million."
"By doubling his financial commitment to Irvin," wrote Pearson, "Griffin appears to be showing confidence in a campaign strategy that has been high in the use of TV ads and mailers while low in public contact and visibility. Griffin, founder and CEO of the Citadel hedge fund, is the state’s wealthiest person with a net worth of $26.7 billion, according to Forbes. He is an ardent foe of Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker, an heir to the Hyatt Hotel fortune and the nation’s wealthiest elected politician with a net worth estimated at $3.6 billion, according to Forbes... The governor, who spent $171 million of his own money to defeat wealthy first-term Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner in 2018, has put $125.5 million of his own money into his reelection campaign."
Even before backing Irvin, Griffin had vowed to go “all in” against Pritzker’s reelection. Irvin is among five major contenders for the GOP nomination in the June 28 primary, along with businessmen Gary Rabine of Bull Valley and Jesse Sullivan of Petersburg, state Sen. Darren Bailey of Xenia and former state Sen. Paul Schimpf of Waterloo.
Last month, Bailey’s campaign got a cash infusion of $2.5 million from another billionaire, conservative megadonor Richard Uihlein of the Uline office supply firm. Uihlein had previously given Bailey $1 million and has also given $1 million to an independent expenditure committee supporting Bailey and opposing Irvin.