FOUR BIL­LION­AIRE DONORS HELP CRUZ RISE IN GOP BID

The Denver Post - - NATION & WORLD - The As­so­ci­ated Press

wash­ing­ton» Four of Amer­ica’s wealth­i­est busi­ness­men laid the foun­da­tion for Ted Cruz’s now­surg­ing Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial cam­paign and have re­de­fined the role of political donors.

With just over a week un­til vot­ers get their first say, the 45-yearold Texas sen­a­tor known as a con­ser­va­tive war­rior has been as­cen­dant. The $36 mil­lion com­mit­ted last year by th­ese donor fam­i­lies is now go­ing to­ward tele­vi­sion, ra­dio and on­line ad­ver­tise­ments, along with di­rect mail­ings and get-out­the-vote ef­forts in early pri­mary states.

The donors’ su­per political ac­tion com­mit­tees spon­sored ral­lies Satur­day in Iowa fea­tur­ing Cruz and con­ser­va­tive per­son­al­ity Glenn Beck. The state holds the lead­off cau­cuses on Feb. 1.

The long-be­liev­ing bene­fac­tors are New York hedge fund bil­lion­aire Robert Mercer, Texas nat­u­ral gas bil­lion­aires Far­ris and Dan Wilks, and pri­vate-equity part­ner Toby Neuge­bauer. They honed their plan to help Cruz be­fore he be­gan his steady rise in polls — even be­fore he an­nounced his pres­i­den­tial bid in March. Mercer gave $11 mil­lion, Neuge­bauer gave $10 mil­lion, and the Wilks brothers and their wives to­gether gave $15 mil­lion.

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