An analysis by The Los Angeles Times has found that there are 17 people or companies who gave more than $1 million to a super PAC last year, showing how just one wealthy individual can make a big impact on the election. A small handful of those donors gave in excess of $2 million, sometimes to more than one group or candidate. Ten of the 17 donors gave more than $1 million
The end of January brought a massive data dump of Federal Election Commission filings that has given Americans a slightly clearer picture of how the 2012 election is being fought and paid for. Because super PACs are not bound by the limits that apply to individual donations made directly to candidates, those with the means are able to pump as much as they want into the group that may or not be behind their favorite candidate.
Everyone knows about Sheldon Adelson, who has so far donated $11 million to the pro-Newt Gingrich PAC "Winning our Future" (by far the most given by any single person.) But there are others, like Texas billionaire Harold Simmons, who has given a total $8.6 million to several different groups. On the left, there's Jeffery Katzenberg, the Hollywood mogul who has given $2 million to a PAC supporting Barack Obama.