Priorities USA Action, a super PAC endorsed by President Barack Obama, reported its best fundraising month with a March haul of $2.5 million, according to a report filed Friday with the Federal Election Commission. The super PAC, run by former White House communications aide Bill Burton, had struggled to raise money while Republican super PACs raised huge sums until the president's endorsement.
The super PAC's money came from some unexpected sources. Unlike the Republican super PACs with their well-known donors, Priorities USA Action's donor list does not read like a rock star list of Democratic donors. There is no George Soros, Peter Lewis, Haim Saban or Steve Bing. Instead, there are less-known individuals and, in what might become a trend, a high-profile, foul-mouthed comedian.
In March, the biggest donor to Priorities USA Action was Amy Goldman, with a $1 million contribution. Goldman, an author and activist based in upstate New York, has been called "perhaps the world's premier vegetable gardener." Last year, she gave $1 million to the super PAC run by Planned Parenthood.
Chelsea Handler, the comedian behind the cheeky talk show Chelsea Lately and the NBC sitcom "Are You There, Chelsea?," pitched in $100,000. Handler's contribution comes one month after the HBO comedian Bill Maher gave $1 million to the super PAC.
Five other donors gave six-figure checks to the group. Kareem Ahmed, CEO of a medical billing company, chipped in $500,000, increasing his total giving to the super PAC to $1 million. The environmental activist Anne Earhart gave $250,000. Donating $100,000 each were Wayne Jordan, a $500,000-plus bundler for the Obama campaign; Andrew Beck, a financial analyst at D.E. Shaw; and former defense contractor and longtime Democratic donor Bernard Schwartz.
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