One of Sara Gideon’s billionaire backers entangled in federal investigation, subpoena in Florida

On the left: Speaker Sara Gideon. On the right: Rep. Chellie Pingree, with then-husband billionaire S. Donald Sussman, who is currently the top mega-donor in America and has been issued a subpoena in Florida related to failed gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum.

Washington D.C. – A liberal billionaire who bankrolls Democrat campaigns across the nation and was served a subpoena in a federal grand jury investigation related to a political campaign in Florida just months ago is now attacking Senator Susan Collins and steering donors to Sara Gideon.

The website of the PAC, called Main Voters, claims it is “independent” and focuses on “public service ahead of pandering.” The PAC recently leapt into action trying to drive donors to Gideon’s U.S. Senate campaign.

But of the $110,000 the PAC has reportedly raised so far in contributions according to the FEC, $100,000 of that funding came from S. Donald Sussman, with the remaining $10k coming from a PAC with ties to the cruise ship industry.

Sussman is the former husband of Rep. Chellie Pingree and a well-documented donor to hundreds of liberal candidates and causes, plowing tens of millions of dollars each election cycle from his corporate investment empire into the political world.

In 2019 alone, the FEC reports Sussman has made large contributions to Rep. Debbie Wasserman Shultz; Sen. Dick Durbin; Sen. Chris Coons; Rep. Zoe Lofgren and numerous others.

Sussman has also sent millions to Democrat Super PAC efforts associated with Nancy Pelosi and other Democrat leaders.

In late May, the Tampa Bay Times and other news media reported that Sussman had been issued a subpoena in a federal investigation surrounding the failed gubernatorial campaign of Andrew Gillum of Florida.

Sussman reportedly donated $1.5 million to Gillum. A long-time aide to Sussman was also one of a small number of individuals to be issued a subpoena.

READ MORE: Grand Jury subpoena issued to Donald Sussman, Maine political donor, Pingree’s former husband, in federal investigation

Another group that likely has ties to Sussman has also just launched to go after Senator Collins. The “16 Counties Coalition”, which according to the Portland Press Herald will be run by a former staffer to House Speaker Sara Gideon and Rep. Chellie Pingree’s former Spokesman Willy Ritch, who often spoke on behalf of Pingree and Sussman when the two were married.

Because the 16 Counties Coalition is founded as a 501(c)4 non-profit, commonly referred to by the left as a “dark money” group, it will not be required to disclose if Sussman is the organization’s only major donor.

Sussman has donated about $30 million to Democrat candidates and causes that is subject to disclosure to the Federal Elections since 2017. That amount is only a part of his donation total, however, as many state level donations and many non-profit donations are reported across various other reporting jurisdictions.

According to, Sussman is currently number one on the list of wealthy megadonors giving in the current election cycle nationally. In the previous election cycle, he ranked fifth overall.

Sussman built his fortune over time through numerous companies, including Paloma Partners. His investments span the globe, including a history of investing in Chinese companies, including coal, chemical and other industries in the communist nation.

Cathay Capital Holdings, Sussman’s primary Chinese investment vehicle, has entered at least one Sino-foreign joint venture with the Yankuang Group, which was a large Chinese government-owned-enterprise mainly engaged in mining & sales, coal chemical industry, power generation & aluminum production and machinery manufacturing, according to the Yankuang Group’s website.

Gideon has launched a series of online ads suggesting she will not accept “corporate PAC” money, parroting a line used often by her Democratic primary opponent Betsy Sweet.

It is unclear how Gideon will explain her history of accepting corporate PAC money combined with this support from America’s top political mega-donor, whose multi-national corporate empire encircles the globe.

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