Billionaire Brothers Give $15 Million to Cruz PAC

A pair of billionaire brothers who made their money through fracking have contributed $15 million to the Super PAC set up to support Ted Cruz’ presidential campaign. The brothers are huge supporters of the Christian right, including David Lane and the American Family Association.

Two low-profile Texas brothers have donated $15 million to support Sen. Ted Cruz, a record-setting contribution that amounts to the largest known donation so far in the 2016 presidential campaign.

Farris and Dan Wilks, billionaires who made their fortunes in the West Texas fracking boom, have given $15 million of the $38 million that the pro-Cruz super PAC, Keep the Promise, will disclose in election filings next week, according to sources outside the super PAC with knowledge of the giving.

The siblings earned their riches with the sale of their company Frac Tech for $3.5 billion in 2011, and since then have shuffled large contributions to the leading social conservative nonprofit groups that aren’t required to reveal their donors. But they will no longer be able to avoid detection after giving a historically large and early donation that now make the brothers two of America’s most prominent political donors.

“Our country was founded on the idea that our rights come from the Creator, not the government. I’m afraid we’re losing that,” Farris Wilks, a 63-year-old pastor in the small town of Cisco, said in a statement to CNN. “Unless we elect a principled conservative leader ready to stand up for our values, we’ll look back on what once was the land of opportunity and pass on a less prosperous nation to our children and grandchildren. That’s why we need Ted Cruz.”

And that Super PAC is very oddly structured:

Keep the Promise is technically four separate committees that give three families more control over their own super PAC. Most of the attention has focused on Robert Mercer, a New York hedge fund magnate who gave the second-most money to conservative groups in 2014 than any other Republican donor. Mercer has given $11 million of the $38 million raised, according to a leader of the super PACs. Another $10 million comes from Toby Neugebauer, a Houston investor and a personal friend of Cruz’s.

This is why the campaign contribution limits in federal law are almost entirely irrelevant. They keep an individual from giving more than a relatively small amount of money to a candidate or a political party but they allow the super rich to donate unlimited amounts of money to these third party groups and Super PACs, which are not allowed to coordinate with the campaigns or the parties (wink, wink) but everyone knows they do. After Citizens United, this is the primary means of allowing the rich to control our political campaigns.

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  • daved

    Well, better that they give it to Cruz than to someone who might actually win.

  • Synfandel

    Our country was founded on the idea that our rights come from the Creator, not the government.

    The founders of the USA believed that basic rights were “self-evident” and “inalienable”—i.e., innate rather than conferred by government, deity, or anyone else.

  • raven

    “Our country was founded on the idea that our rights come from the Creator, not the government. I’m afraid we’re losing that,” Farris Wilks, a 63-year-old pastor …

    1. This is the latest meme from the right wing kooks. Glenn Beck says the same thing.

    2. It’s both meaningless and wrong.

    3. They didn’t get this from the bible.

    Freedom of religion? Apostasy and heresy are both death penalty offenses in the bible.

    Gender equality? Women were property.

    Democracy? The concept was well known back then. It isn’t mentioned in the bible.

    4. It says in the New Testament in several places to obey the leaders and pay your taxes. At that time, all the rulers were emperor and kings. And they hate taxes.

    5. There is no way anyone has to determine what rights the Creators gave us. Because the Creators aren’t say anything, most likely because they don’t exist.

  • regexp

    primary means of allowing the rich to control our political campaigns.

    The rich always controlled political campaigns. But I have a more basic question. Is all the new money really changing anything? Based on the last election cycle the ROI is pitiful which makes me wonder what these people are thinking. Its cheaper just to hire lobbyists to influence decisions after elections.

  • colnago80

    The contributions of these assholes is a mere bagatelle compared to the contributions of the Koch brothers.

  • moarscienceplz

    Our country was also founded on the idea that all men are created equal. If I give the same percentage of my net worth to Ted Cruz, will he pay just as much attention to me as he undoubtedly does to the Wilks brothers?

    I didn’t think so.

  • busterggi

    Efficient of these fellows – think how much longer it would have taken to get the same results by flushing 15 million one dollar bills down a toilet.

  • captainoblivious

    So what? It’s not like that idiot Cruz is going to beat the Hildebeest.

    Let these rich dummies throw their money away. Who actually votes based on political ads anyhow?

  • John Hinkle

    “Unless we elect a principled conservative leader ready to stand up for our values, we’ll look back on what once was the land of opportunity and pass on a less prosperous nation to our children and grandchildren. That’s why we need Ted Cruz.”

    Could these “values” be the much-anticipated big fat tax cuts for the rich should Cruz become president?

  • raven

    Could these “values” be the much-anticipated big fat tax cuts for the rich should Cruz become president?

    Of course.

    As the Creator said in his Jesus meat suit, Blessed are the rich because they are the job creators.

    Followed by the example of the loaves and fishes. The crowd gave 100 loaves and fishes to one guy and he gave 20 of them back.

    Proof once again that the gods are just sockpuppets. Wilks gods believe in fossil fuels, rich people, white people, and tax cuts for the wealthy.

  • http://helives.blogspot.com heddle

    Apostasy and heresy are both death penalty offenses in the bible.

    Someone forgot to give Jesus the memo. He encountered many apostates and heretics and never called for their execution.

    On topic: One of the things I liked about Obama pre-2008 was his support for public financing of campaigns. A principled position he promptly abandoned.

  • Moon Jaguar

    I can’t conceive how SCOTUS determined this billionaire bonanza not only didn’t but couldn’t reek of corruption.

  • Moon Jaguar

    If my math is right, Cruz only received $2 million from all other donors combined. That is so, so pathetic.

  • D. C. Sessions

    I can’t conceive how SCOTUS determined this billionaire bonanza not only didn’t but couldn’t reek of corruption.

    It wasn’t easy, but after a series of meetings in remote locations including several private islands and far too many working meals provided by five-star chefs, they were able to understand the basic principles intended by the Founders.

  • samgardner

    I happened to see an article listing out the superpac donations today; what was surprising is how many candidates were essentially being bankrolled by one or two people. I think there were 31 donations over a million dollars, and 24 of those went to Bush. One candidate had 83% of their funding coming from one donor.

    I mean, at least one can have some faith that Trump is bankrolling himself…

  • sigurd jorsalfar

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

    Synfandel, they may actually be right when they say the country was founded on the idea that rights come from the creator. But so what? They can’t even prove there is a creator.