Donors like former Exelon chair John Rowe are pitting Republicans' hatred for immigrants against their love of money.
Republicans are facing an electoral wipeout in the fall, and now they have to contend with a dilemma that pits the racist Trump base against some of their biggest donors.
Former Exelon chairman and multi-millionaire Republican donor John Rowe is threatening to withhold campaign money from GOP candidates who don’t sign on to a fix for Dreamers that’s currently being floated in the House.
Rowe told Politico, “Every member of the Illinois delegation knows this is one of the most important issues facing them, and it determines how much money I’m giving them,” which could be quite significant, since Rowe has given hundreds of thousands of dollars to Republicans over the years.
And according to that report, Rowe isn’t the only one:
Rowe’s actions come amid a broader effort by moderates who are trying to force a House vote on the issue. Other businessmen from the immigration group — including David Bender, the group’s co-chair and a GOP county chairman, and veteran Republican donor William Kunkler — are making similar pledges.
“In truth, we may not be a huge number of people, but in terms of being reliable, active donors, we’re people who give every year to candidates,” Rowe said.
Rowe is specifically demanding that Republicans join a discharge petition that would force the House of Representatives to vote on a fix to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy that Trump rescinded.
This dilemma is playing out in other policy areas, as well. Following the Parkland gun massacre, billionaire NRA member Mike Fernandez announced he would withhold money from candidates who refuse to support gun control, and enlisted other heavy hitters to do the same.
Democrats have been flipping seat after seat in Trump-era special elections, and if this donor revolt continues, they could benefit from a GOP that finds itself caught between the devil, the donors, and a deep blue wave in November.