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Billionaire tied to Trump also tied to Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner

Author: Marianne Goodland - November 2, 2017 - Updated: November 2, 2017

U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., center, joined by, from left, Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017. Gardner drew the ire of the North Korean government after the senator referred to the country's dictator Kim Jon Un as a "whack job" and "crazed maniac." (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The National Institute on Money in State Politics today updated its database of spending on political campaigns in the past two election years. Among the information: updated spending by billionaire Robert L. Mercer — and there’s a connection to Colorado. 

The Institute runs a website, Follow the Money, which tracks political spending.

Mercer, CEO of Renaissance Technologies and a former hedge-fund manager, came into prominence in the political realm last year with his late-season support for candidate, now President, Donald Trump. Mercer has also been a powerful ally of Steve Bannon, who was, until recently, a member of Trump’s White House advisors. However, several media outlets have reported in recent days that Mercer is now distancing himself from Bannon, including selling off his share of Breitbart News. Those reports say Mercer is selling the Breitbart stake to his daughters.  

According to the database, Mercer has spent about $25 million on all kinds of candidates and political action committees in the last six years. Among his smaller contributions, according to the database, is $3,200 to then-candidate, and now U.S. Sen., Cory Gardner, a Yuma Republican. Those contributions were made in the 2014 general election.

Mercer’s largest contributions, however, were to a super PAC tied to John Bolton and to the Club for Growth, which the database reported also gave money to Gardner in 2014.

Marianne Goodland

Marianne Goodland

Marianne Goodland is the chief legislative reporter for Colorado Politics. She's covered the Colorado General Assembly for 20 years, starting off in 1998 with the Silver & Gold Record, the editorially-independent newspaper at CU that was shuttered in 2009. She also writes for six rural newspapers in northeastern Colorado. Marianne specializes in rural issues, agriculture, water and, during election season, campaign finance. In her free time (ha!) she lives in Lakewood with her husband, Jeff; a cantankerous Shih-Tzu named Sophie; and Gunther the cat. She is also an award-winning professional harpist.