U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) gestures as he addresses the media after the Democratic Party lunch in the Senate, on Capitol Hill in Washington, January 13, 2022.
Elizabeth Frantz | Reuters
Ken Langone, a billionaire investor and Republican donor, contributed to Senator Joe Manchin’s political action committee days after the conservative Democrat congressman said he would not backing President Joe Biden’s $1.75 trillion climate and social spending package.
Langone and his wife each contributed $5,000 to Manchin’s Country Roads-led PAC in New Year’s Eve donations, according to Federal Election Commission records first reviewed by CNBC. That total is the most that an individual can contribute to such a PAC in a given year.
The donation has almost arrived two weeks after Manchin took to Fox News to announce that he would not support a massive social spending proposal called Build Back Better.
A month before his contribution, Langone praised Manchin live on CNBC. Langone also said he plans to host a major fundraising event for conservative Democrats, who have protested and downplayed important parts of their party’s agenda. Manchin will be re-elected in 2024.
“I don’t see any leadership positions in this country. Thank God for Joe Manchin,” Langone said at the time. “I’m going to have one of the biggest fundraisers I’ve ever had for him. He’s special. He’s so precious. He’s a great American,” he added. Watch the video here:
Manchin, who represents West Virginia, is a key vote in a Senate split 50-50 between the two parties. That has made him and his political activism a magnet for lobbying from business leaders and special interest. groups.
Country Roads PAC raised over $150,000 in December, more than November. In December, the committee also received funding from corporations such as AT&T, PG&E, Valero Energy, Honeywell International, Clearway Energy, Exelon and the Nuclear Energy Institute.
Before donating in December, Langone had never contributed to one of Manchin’s campaigns or his leadership PAC, according to the Center for Nonpartisan Reaction Politics.
The data shows Manchin’s committee donation marks the first known donation from Langone to a Democrat since he contributed to Bill Daley’s Chicago mayoral campaign during the election. election in 2019. Daley came in third, unsurpassed. Lori Lightfoot, who considered herself more advanced than Daley, won.
Representatives for Manchin and his PAC did not return requests for comment prior to publication. A call to Langone’s investment firm went unanswered.
Langone was once a major Trump supporter of former President Donald Trump. I said CNBC in 2016 he will support Trump’s original candidacymedicine for the White House, but he finished political fundraising. He later authentication Trump’s economic policies, including tariffs on Chinese goods.
After that, Langone aimed at the former president after January 6, 2021, when a mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol in an attempt to prevent Congress from confirming Biden’s victory in the 2020 election.
Records show some of Langone’s most recent major donations include $1 million to the Senate Leadership Fund, a super PAC that works to defeat Democratic candidates running for the Senate, and $500,000. la for Americans for Prosperity Action, a group supported by the family-friendly Koch Republican Party.