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Commentary: Billionaires Funding Protests Donate Millions to House Dems

By Susan Crabtree

Will this presidential election be the most important in American history?

Commentary by Susan Crabtree originally published by RealClearPolitics and RealClearWire

For President Biden and congressional Democrats, the fierce party division over the campus protests and the war in Gaza is full of warning signs during the 2024 election year. The unrest is unlikely to stop when universities break for the summer; protesters are pledging to disrupt the August Democratic National Convention planned to be held in Chicago.

Most House Democrats have been reticent on the antisemitic protests and encampments roiling college graduations this month, while a handful have vocally defended or even celebrated the student protests as displays of protected free speech.

Rep. Ilhan Omar, a Minnesota Democrat, said she was proud of her daughter, a Barnard College student who was suspended for participating in illegal protests and who was among 100 people arrested after demonstrations at Columbia University in April. Throughout the months of campus protests, members of the progressive “squad,” Reps. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Cori Bush of Missouri have applauded “courageous” anti-Israel student protestors while condemning efforts by university administrators and police to dismantle the encampments.

A RealClearPolitics analysis of Federal Election Commission data shows one possible reason most Democrats are trying to avoid the campus fray: House Democrats’ reelection campaigns have accepted $6.5 million from three major political families, which have helped bankroll several student groups participating in the protests. The family members cut most of those checks over the last two years, although some of the donations to longstanding House members came over the last decade.

The names are well-known among Democratic funding circles: Soros, Rockefeller, and Pritzker. Yet before the anti-Jewish protests swept college campuses over the last few months, their financial ties to the student groups were not widely known. Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, a member of the same wealthy Pritzker family, is not among the donors.

Several investigative media reports over the last month have uncovered the extensive financial ties between these families and student groups involved in organizing anti-Israel protests and activism across the country predating the Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attacks on Israel and in its aftermath and during Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza.

The donors to student groups include George Soros, a billionaire philanthropist and Democratic campaign contributor who helms the Open Society Foundation and his family members; the Pritzkers, the owners of Hyatt Hotels Corporation; and members of the famed Rockefeller family, including relatives of the wealthy American Banker and philanthropist David Rockefeller. The donations have either gone directly to student groups involved in campus demonstrations or to umbrella foundations and organizations, which have, in turn, channeled the funds to the protestors.

The House Democratic Congressional Committee and the House Majority PAC, which was founded by former Speaker Nancy Pelosi and is directly affiliated with the House Democratic leadership, collected most of those funds, nearly $5.5 million by those two Democratic campaign entities alone, FEC records show.

Meanwhile, 30 House Democrats, including Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries and other members of the leadership, received a combined total of $856,858 from the Soros, Pritzker, and Rockefeller families, while a dozen Democratic candidates in competitive races received a total of $139,000. RCP did not examine Senate recipients.

Read the entire commentary here.

Susan Crabtree is RealClearPolitics’ national political correspondent.

This article was originally published by RealClearPolitics and made available via RealClearWire.

Deneen Borelli

Deneen Borelli is the author of Blacklash: How Obama and the Left are Driving Americans to the Government Plantation. Deneen is a contributor with Newsmax Broadcasting. She is a former Fox News contributor and has appeared regularly on “Hannity,” “Fox & Friends,” “Your World with Neil Cavuto,” and “America’s Newsroom.” She has also appeared on Fox Business Network programs “Making Money with Charles Payne,” “The Evening Edit with Liz MacDonald,” and “Cavuto: Coast to Coast.” Previously, Deneen appeared on MSNBC, CNN, the BBC and C-SPAN. In addition to television, Deneen co-hosted radio programs on the SiriusXM Patriot channel with her husband Tom. Recently, Deneen co-hosted the Reigniting Liberty podcast with Tom. Deneen is a frequent speaker at political events, including the FreedomWorks 9.12.2009 March on D.C. which drew a crowd estimated at over 800,000 people. Deneen is also an Ambassador with, a social media platform that promotes free speech, and with the America First Policy Institute (AFPI) which advances policies that put Americans first. Deneen testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources in May 2011 and before the Ohio House Public Utilities Committee in December 2011. Previously, Deneen was a host, Outreach Director with overseeing its outreach program, a Project 21 Senior Fellow, and Manager of Media Relations with the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE). Prior to joining CORE, Deneen worked at Philip Morris USA for 20 years. During her corporate career at Philip Morris she worked in various positions, her last as Project Management Coordinator in the Information Management department where she was responsible for the department’s mandated quality processes, communications, sales information and database management. Deneen began her Philip Morris career as a secretary and advanced to positions of increasing responsibilities. Deneen worked full-time and attended classes at night for 11 years to earn her B.A. in Managerial Marketing from Pace University, New York City. Deneen served on the Board of Trustees with The Opportunity Charter School in Harlem, New York. She appeared in educational videos for children, worked as a runway fashion model, and auditioned for television commercials. Her interests include ancient history, pistol target shooting, photography, and volunteering at her church. Deneen currently resides in Connecticut with her husband Tom.

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