Despite early transparency pledges, Biden heavily reliant on shadowy donors and meetings to fund campaign

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By contrast, President Donald Trump has kept fundraisers with big contributors entirely behind closed doors – including some events held at his own businesses, from which he simultaneously personally profits. His own bundlers have been kept nameless in 2020, as they were in 2016. Despite repeatedly claiming during that campaign he was so rich he couldn’t be bought, for his reelection Trump has relied heavily on donations from large corporate interests and extremely wealthy individuals – although 52.9 percent of his total donations ($251,986,727) has flowed from “small donors,” compared to 38.36 percent of Biden’s ($203,671,028).

A review of which sectors are giving which candidate more money is a handy guide to who best represents their interests. For instance, energy companies overwhelmingly back Trump, having collectively donated $15,551,429 to his campaign, versus $3,710,175 to Biden – no doubt a reflection of the latter making the battle against climate change a key election issue, and making various vague pledges in respect of fossil fuels and fracking.

Healthcare providers also seem to favour Trump, with its constituent companies pledging $54,150,840 to the president, and $31,977,731 for Biden. During the 2016 campaign, Trump repeatedly vowed to repeal ‘Obamacare’, the Affordable Care Act. Biden was instrumental in its passage into law. Efforts by House Republicans to achieve its repeal have been ongoing ever since Trump’s election victory. The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments against the Act just after the November vote, in a case brought by a coalition of Republican state attorneys general and the Trump administration, which argues the law is unconstitutional.

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Tech giants, including Google’s parent company Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Disney, Microsoft and IBM have given Biden $43,471,709, but Trump only $5,707,650.

The finance sector has given Biden $101,015,180, and Trump $59,935,983. A surprising development indeed, given the industry – which is far and away the largest source of campaign contributions to candidates and parties in the US – has, since 2010, overwhelmingly favoured Republicans. Democrats have been central to the passing of key post-financial crisis legislation, such as the Dodd-Frank Act, which protects consumers from predatory lending practices, and prevents banks from engaging in dangerous, high-risk operations.

Nonetheless, the casino industry clearly backs Trump, providing him with $38,058,934 in funding, and Biden a paltry $903,537. The president himself at one point owned a chain of casinos in Atlantic City, New Jersey, under the imprint of Trump Entertainment Resorts Inc, and between 1991 and 2014, the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on four separate occasions. One of his casinos broke anti-money laundering rules 106 times in its first year and a half of operation in the early 1990s.

The defense industry seems to be hedging its bets however, with Biden receiving $1,374,678, Trump $1,192,981 – indeed, most firms in the industry have given roughly the same amount to both parties over the past year, with Lockheed Martin ($4,049,034) and Northrop Grumman ($3,826,835) pledging the most overall.

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