Earlier this year, the Supreme Court tossed aside the campaign finance rule that killed overall political contribution limits for national party and federal candidate committees. Previously capped at $123,200, in April, the Court ruled 5-4 in McCutcheon v FEC that limits on contributions are another violation of free speech.

Now that the super rich have the free speech to fork over as much cash as they want, they’re doing so. Rapidly.

According to an analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics, 310 people in the United States have, so far, given more than the previous limit this election cycle, contributing a combined total of more than $48 million.

Among them: the Koch Brothers, son, wife; George Soros; Charles Schwab, Miriam and Sheldon Adelson; Pete Coors; August Busch III. The entire list, put together by the Center for Responsive Politics, is here.

Amongst those big-name political hotshots are contributors here in our own backyard, both in and outside Philadelphia. Here’s who they are, and what they’re giving.

The list includes Joseph Reschini of Pittsburgh, Pa. He’s given $182,100 during the campaign cycle, as of June 30. Of that, $181,850 has gone to Republicans or conservative groups. A Campaign Money list shows much of his cash has gone to candidates outside Pennsylvania, including Tim Scott of South Carolina and House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH).

Nicholas Beckwith, also of Pittsburgh, has contributed $160,300. Of that, $300 has gone to Democratic candidates or liberal organizations; $160,000 to Republican candidates or conservative organizations.

Christine Toretti of Indiana, Pa., has given $157,755—with $0 going to Democratic candidates and liberal organizations.

Joseph Field, here in Philadelphia, has donated $153,890. Virtually all has gone to Democratic candidates and liberal organizations: $142,890. $0 has gone to conservatives.

In Gladwyne, just outside Philly, Joel Greenberg has given $150,000. $10,200 of Greenberg’s money has gone to liberals and Democrats, $139,800 went to conservatives. Records show Greenberg keeps his money local, supporting pols like Mike Fitzpatrick, Pat Toomey, Charlie Dent and Democrat Brendan Boyle.

Peter Buttenwieser was formerly the “nation’s most generous individual political donor,” and has been giving away his family’s investment-banking fortune for some time. The Philadelphian is a regular Democratic contributor and has forked $136,700 to Democrats this year.

That’s it for the Pennsylvanians amongst America’s political donors who were just waiting for the campaign finance walls to come down so they could exert their influence. According to OpenSecrets.org, these donors are literally one in a million—there are 310 of them, and 318 million U.S. citizens.

As expected, Republicans have been getting more of this 1 percent (of the 1 percent) cash: $33.3 million compared to the Dems’ $15.6 million. As we move from the midterm elections of 2014 to the 2016 presidential election, expect all this to get much, much worse.

About The Author

Staff writer

Randy LoBasso is the winner of the Pennsylvania Newsmedia Association's 2014 Distinguished Writing Award for his news and politics coverage at Philadelphia Weekly. He has also contributed to Alt Ledes, Salon, The Guardian and PennLive.

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