In the Spotlight
By Staff – August 23, 2022
The Marble Freedom Trust, a conservative nonprofit group, was given a $1.6 billion dollar donation from Barre Seid. Seid is an electronics manufacturing mogul.
The group is controlled by Leonard A. Leo – Leo said in a statement that “it’s high time for the conservative movement to be among the ranks of George Soros, Hansjörg Wyss, Arabella Advisors and other left-wing philanthropists, going toe-to-toe in the fight to defend our Constitution and its ideals.”
This is one of the largest donations ever given to a politically focused nonprofit. The $1.6 billion obtained by the group is more than 15 of the most politically active nonprofit organizations spent in 2020.
The New York Times reported:
A new conservative nonprofit group scored a $1.6 billion windfall last year via a little-known donor — an extraordinary sum that could give Republicans and their causes a huge financial boost ahead of the midterms, and for years to come.
The source of the money was Barre Seid, an electronics manufacturing mogul, and the donation is among the largest — if not the largest — single contributions ever made to a politically focused nonprofit. The beneficiary is a new political group controlled by Leonard A. Leo, an activist who has used his connections to Republican donors and politicians to help engineer the conservative dominance of the Supreme Court and to finance battles over abortion rights, voting rules and climate change policy.
This windfall will help cement Mr. Leo’s status as a kingmaker in conservative big money politics. It could also give conservatives an advantage in a type of difficult-to-trace spending that shapes elections and political fights.
Robert Maguire, the research director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington explained the impact this money will have on issues across the country.
Robert Maguire, the research director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, called the donation “stupefying,” and “by far” the largest known contribution to a dark money political group.
“I’ve never seen a group of this magnitude before,” Maguire said. “This is the kind of money that can help these political operatives and their allies start to move the needle on issues like reshaping the federal judiciary, making it more difficult to vote, a state-by-state campaign to remake election laws and lay the groundwork for undermining future elections.”