Manufactured Housing Connected Billionaires Donors, List of Democratic Presidential Contenders with Most Billionaire Donations


Forbes and NewsMax are reporting a list of which 2020 Democratic Presidential hopefuls have the most billionaires providing them with campaign support.


Sam Zell, of Equity LifeStyle Properties (ELS) fame is among them. While most manufactured home professionals don’t ponder Bill Gates connections to manufactured and factory-built housing, they need to realize the close ties between Gates, and Warren Buffett, who gave billions in Berkshire Hathaway stock to the Gates foundation. Buffett sits on that nonprofits board.


The list below is ranked according to which Democrats got the most donations from billionaires.

  1. Pete Buttigieg: 23 billionaire donors. The 37-year-old mayor of South Bend, Indiana, has gained the support of prominent names that include the likes of record label exec David Geffen and the IAC chairman Barry Diller.
  2. Cory Booker: 18 billionaire donors. Tech billionaire Bill Gates, Google CEO Eric Schmidt, LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman, and former Estée Lauder CEO Leonard Lauder are just some of the names writing checks for the New Jersey senator.
  3.  Kamala Harris: 17 billionaire donors. Backing the California senator is “Star Wars” creator George Lucas, Laurene Powell Jobs as well as donors from further afield, including Cox Enterprises heir James Chambers and hedge fund billionaire Marc Lasry.
  4. Michael Bennet: 15 billionaire donors. The rich and famous who are getting behind the Colorado Senator includes the likes of hedge fund billionaire Jim Simons and Baupost Group CEO Seth Klarman.
  5. Joe Biden: 13 billionaire donors. Warren Buffett and Eric Schmidt are among the wealthy who have declared their support to the former vice president by opening their checkbooks.
  6. Beto O’Rourke: 9 billionaire donors. Over in Texas, investor Robert Bass and former hedge fund manager John Arnold are among the billionaires opening their checkbooks for Beto O’Rourke.
  7. Amy Klobuchar: 8 billionaire donors. The Minnesota Senator received donations from prominent names including Stewart Resnick and Jonathan Gray as well as the support from
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    multiple members of the billionaire Pohlad family.

  8. Jay Inslee: 5 billionaire donors. Supporting the Washington governor’s campaign is Connie Ballmer, who is the wife of Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, as well as Marsha Laufer, the wife of Renaissance Technologies co-founder Henry Laufer.
  9. Kirsten Gillibrand: 4 billionaire donors. Democratic donors Reid Hoffman and Jonathan Gray have joined real estate billionaire David Walentas in backing Kirsten Gillibrand.
  10. Elizabeth Warren and John Delaney: 3 billionaire donors each. Supporting Elizabeth Warren is Theresa Preston-Werner, wife of Github founder and former CEO Tom Preston-Werner, and Susan Pritzker, the wife of Hyatt heir Nicholas Pritzker, II. Meanwhile, donating to John Delaney’s campaign is private equity investor Sam Zell as well as Judy Dimon, the wife of JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon.

Four Democrats have zero reported billionaire donors: Bernie Sanders, Julian Castro, Bill De Blasio, and Tim Ryan, per this listing at the time of the most recently available Federal Election Commission (FEC) reports.


MHProNews plans to monitor some donations in the run-up to the election. We respect the right of people to donate lawfully to whomever or whatever. But the industry’s members may glean insights from such donations. 


Note that several 2020 Democrats have directly weighed in on timely, controversial manufactured home industry issues.



As a closing note, and MHProNews is just using this as a hypothetical example. Zell’s support for former Congressman Delaney may be in hopes that a more moderate Democrat gets the nomination. By contrast, Gates and Buffett have a history of supporting more progressive Democrats that they believe can win.  Buffett was very public in his support of former President Barack Obama as well as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Warren Buffett on a certain level is free to do as he wishes within the bounds of the law and ethics with his campaign donations or other support. The point here isn’t who Buffett supported. Rather, it is that MHI, Tim Williams/21st Mortgage, Clayton Homes, et al claimed to be promoting Preserving Access, while Warren Buffett opposed any changes to Dodd-Frank which was the aim of Preserving Access. In hindsight, it was a grand contradiction, a purported deception in plain sight, a head fake. See Rope a Dope.  See also Buffett’s support of nonprofits that have in turn attacked manufactured housing companies.

That’s our initial installment today on manufactured housing “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

SoheylaKovachDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHLivingNewsSubmitted by Soheyla Kovach for
Soheyla is a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and Connect with us on LinkedIn here and here.

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