Tag: Elaine Chao

Humana co-founder Jones gives $250K more to PAC aiming to flip state House, joining Trump and other heavy-hitters

David Jones Sr
Jones

David Jones Sr.‘s contribution is on top of the $200,000 he gave to Kentuckians for Strong Leadership last September, and $125,000 he gave in February 2014 — a total $575,000, according to new Federal Election Commission records.

The super PAC was created three years ago by allies of U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell to help Kentucky’s senior senator win re-election in 2014, according to The Courier-Journal.

Donald Trump
Trump

With McConnell’s win in November 2014, the PAC’s priority is now helping Republicans capture a majority in the Kentucky House of Representatives this fall. If they succeed, Kentucky would be the last state government in the south to fall completely under GOP control.

Jones’ most recent donation came May 13, according to the PAC’s second-quarter report, and formed the bulk of the $290,000 receipts for the period. Since it was launched, the PAC has raised at least $8.3 million from 164 donors, according to FEC records. It had $5.5 million on hand at the end of the quarter.

Robert McNair
McNair

High-profile PAC donors include Donald Trump, the newly nominated GOP candidate for the White House; he gave $60,000 in October 2014 and May 2013. But Jones has been most generous, with his total $575,000 more than any other single donor, according to a Boulevard analysis of FEC records. Another top donor was Robert McNair of Houston, who gave $500,000 in September 2014; he’s founder and CEO of the NFL’s Houston Texans. And here are four more:

  • Lawrence F. DeGeorge of Jupiter, Fla., $500,000 in two donations, in July 2014 and November 2013. He lists his employer as venture capital firm LPL Investment Group
  • Christine Chao of New York, $400,000 in September 2014; she lists her occupation as self-employed. (McConnell’s wife, Elaine Chao, has a sister named Christine, but it’s unclear whether they two women are one in the same. Through the wealthy Chao family, McConnell is one of the richest U.S. senators, with as much as $43 million)
  • John W. Childs of Vero Beach, Fla., $390,000 combined in August and May 2014 and April 2013. He’s chairman of his namesake private-equity firm.
  • Murray Energy Corp. of St. Clarksville, Ohio, $300,000, also in September 2014. The coal producer announced earlier this month that it may lay off up to 4,400 coal miners by September in Kentucky, Ohio, West Virginia, Illinois, Utah and Pennsylvania

Read this Boulevard spreadsheet to see all 164 donors.

GOP leads in June

Overall, the Kentucky Republican Party raised $209,000 in June, and spent $105,000, giving it $1.6 million in the bank, according to its FEC report for the month.

The Kentucky Democratic Party didn’t do nearly as well. The state Democratic Central Executive Committee took in only $68,000 during the month and spent $102,000, leaving just $72,651 on hand.

Ka-ching! McConnell’s wealth jumped as much as 23% last year — to $43.2 million, new disclosure shows

McConnell,Mitch-012309-18422-jf 0024
McConnell

Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell and his wife saw the value of their stocks, cash and other investments climb last year, cementing his status as one of the wealthiest U.S. senators, his new financial disclosure report shows. But the source of his riches — via his wife Elaine Chao‘s immigrant father — also demonstrates the fine line the senate majority leader must walk in supporting the GOP’s presumptive White House nominee: Donald Trump.

Senators make the finance reports public each year, valuing investments according to a predetermined range. In 2015, his portfolio was worth $9.6 million to $43.2 million, according to a new Boulevard analysis. On the low side, that was a 2% increase from 2014. On the high side: a whopping 23%.

Mitch McConnell financial disclosures 2004-2015 final

The vast majority of McConnell’s wealth is held by his economist wife, Chao (photo with senator, top), whose father made a shipping trade fortune. Chao, 63, was U.S. labor secretary during the George W. Bush Administration.

Boulevard examined the senator’s latest report, filed May 16, to arrive at his 2015 estimates. The midpoint of their values would be $26.4 million vs. $22.2 million in 2014, according to figures compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics, a non-partisan watchdog group in Washington that tracks political campaign finance. The center hasn’t published estimates for 2015 yet.

But in 2014, it ranked McConnell the 11th richest senator. No. 1: Democratic Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, with an average net worth of $243 million — a fortune he built investing in telecommunications. Here are the 25 richest.

Tripping over Trump

Chao’s parents fled to Taiwan from mainland China when the Chinese Communists seized power in 1949, according to Wikipedia. In 1961, when she was eight years old, Chao immigrated to the U.S. on a freighter with her mother and two younger sisters. Her father had arrived in New York three years earlier after receiving a scholarship. He later went on to launch shipper Foremost Group.

McConnell has offered tepid support to Trump at best, citing his inflammatory anti-immigration postures. In an interview with Yahoo Global News Anchor Katie Couric Tuesday, McConnell said the New York billionaire’s proposals could threaten the GOP’s standing with immigrant voters. “America is changing,” he told Couric, “the Republican Party clearly doesn’t need to write off either Asian or Latino Americans, and that is not a good place to be for long-term competitiveness.”

Related: Here’s McConnell’s  report from last year, plus his 2014 report for comparison. And here’s Sen. Rand Paul’s new report, plus his 2014 report.

The other cover price for McConnell’s new tell-all memoirs: $325,000 — to start

In “The Long Game,” Republican U.S. senate majority leader Mitch McConnell slams the man he calls “Professor Obama” and needles fellow lawmakers, ABC News says in a new story. It hits bookstores next Tuesday.

McConnell bookMcConnell told the Associated Press a year ago that he was writing the book. But he didn’t say how much he’d get paid. Now, his new financial disclosure report filed last week shows what publisher Penguin forked over: $325,000 — and that’s just to start. He’ll also receive royalty payments: 15% of sales at the retail price of hardcover editions; 7.5% to 10% of sales of paperbacks; and 25% of e-book sales.

This is McConnell’s biggest foray into book publishing. If sales go through the roof, he could earn a bigger advance next time. But as political books go, it’s a long road to match what Simon & Schuster paid Hillary Clinton in 2000 for her memoirs as first lady: a near-record $8 million. (And that’s not counting the rumored $14 million for her years as secretary of state.) In fact, McConnell’s pales alongside a list Boulevard compiled of other high-profile authors going back to 2001.

The 20-page disclosure report covering all of 2015 is full of details about McConnell’s finances and those of his wife, the economist Elaine Chao. Among them, Chao got paid five figures for speeches she gave to the Alliance for Public Awareness in Paris ($50,000), and the Real Estate Roundtable in Washington ($25,000). Chao was U.S. labor secretary in the George W. Bush Administration.

With Chao’s substantial family wealth included, McConnell ranked No. 11 among the senate’s wealthiest members as of 2014, the latest year available from the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan campaign finance watchdog group.

Related: McConnell’s 2014 financial disclosure report. Also, here’s Republican Rand Paul’s 2015 report, plus his 2014 report.