The upcoming midterm elections may not generate the cash infusion into political campaigns that a presidential race would, but that doesn’t mean that millions of dollars aren’t pouring into the coffers of candidates and political action committees (PACs) alike before November’s vote.
While Latinos may not be doling out the kind of money that people like former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg or business magnate Paul Singer are throwing at their favored candidates, some prominent Hispanics are coughed up serious cash during this election cycle.
Fox News Latino is highlighting three major Latino donors to give a sense of where the money is going during this year’s midterm elections.
Henry Muñoz III
Bio: A Texas native and Obama's bundler during the 2012 presidential campaign, Muñoz is currently Democratic National Committee’s finance chair and responsible for bringing in cash for campaigns ranging from presidential to local congressional races. Muñoz – the CEO of Kell Muñoz Architects, Inc., the largest minority-owned architectural firm in Texas – is known for his over-the-top style: he once wore a crown of real diamonds and amethysts after raising more than $250,000 in scholarship funds.
Muñoz has held high positions in Texas state government, including the Texas High Speed Rail Authority and the Texas Department of Transportation. He is also a national chairman of the Futuro Fund, a group of Hispanic leaders who raised money for the president’s reelection. Speaking to Fox News Latino last year, Muñoz said he was struck by the diversity of the DNC’s appointments and that it’s “symbolic of the United States in the 21st century.”
2014 Donations: $81, 390 (all to Democratic candidates or committees), $67,100 of which went to the DNC Service Corp.
Bio: The Cuban-born Gutierrez, who is serving as chairman of the Republicans for Immigration Reform super PAC, stepped down from his gig last year as vice chairman at Citigroup to head the GOP group. His work in politics includes a stint as commerce secretary under George W. Bush and he has been one of the most vocal members of the GOP when it comes to immigration. “America’s immigration system is badly broken, which undeniably impacts our economy, our healthcare system, our nation’s ability to attract the globe’s most talented individuals, our schools, our families and our country’s promise of the great American Dream,” he told Fox News Latino in a 2013 interview.
2014 Donations: $26,300 (all to Republican candidates or committees), $2,600 went to Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell’s reelection campaign in Kentucky and $1,000 to Ed Gillespie’s election bid in Virginia.
Bio: The director of such beloved – and bloody – films as "Machete," "Desperado" and the "Sin City" series is also a major supporter of U.S. President Barack Obama and other Democratic candidates. Besides directing films, Rodriguez is currently the head of his own cable network, "El Rey," a new 24-hour, English-language network that has both syndicated and original programming.
While his films are known mainly for their quick cuts, witty banter and massive amounts of gore, his "Machete" films did get a good deal of press for tackling – or cutting apart – the issue of illegal immigration.
Rodriguez recently held a fundraiser for the DNC with Obama at the director’s Texas home. While he declined to discuss most of his conversation with Obama – especially on the ongoing border crisis – he did comment on the importance of voting. “You're not just checking a box or a requirement. You're doing something you believe is really important for the country,” Rodriguez told The Wrap.
2014 Donations: $64,800 to DNC Services Corp., the campaign finance wing of the Democratic National Committee.
Follow Andrew O'Reilly on Twitter @aoreilly84.